$4.99 iPod? College Student Accused In Barcode Switch

CU Freshman Begs Police To Let Him Go

A 19-year-old freshman at the University of Colorado faces criminal charges after police said he made a fake bar code label to buy an iPod for $4.99. The actual price of the MP3 player was $149.99.

Jonathan Baldino was arrested Wednesday at a Target store and police said the electrical-engineering student admitted making phony bar codes using a program he downloaded off the Internet.

Police said he downloaded a program called "Barcode Magic" and used it to generate low-priced codes that could placed over actual, more expensive, bar codes.

Baldino wrote a statement for police that begged them not to prosecute him, according to The Denver Post.

"I will NEVER EVER DO THIS EVER AGAIN and I am once more terribly sorry," Baldino wrote. "Please let me go for I am terribly sorry!!! I'm only a kid! Help me out. I just want to go home. I did this not knowing of the serious penalty that lies behind it. Please! Please! Please!"

Baldino faces a felony charge of forgery and two misdemeanor counts of theft.

According to its Web site, the Barcode Magic program allows users to "generate bar codes for home, hobby and retail with our easy to use bar-code software. Simply select a bar-code style and font, enter desired text and numbers, and a bar code is automatically created."

Police said that Baldino didn't even pay for the software program. He used barcodes generated during the 15-day trial period.

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