Suspect stole bag from doctor's truck
NEWNAN, Ga. -- A Newnan dentist wants to thank police for helping him get thousands of dollars back that was stolen from his vehicle.
The suspect who stole the money probably never realized he threw it all away. And he probably doesn't realize the theft is all on surveillance video.
Dr. Artie Ricaud left his dental practice on Tuesday when he realized he left his sunglasses in his office. Dr. Ricaud left a personal bag in his pickup truck because he was just running back inside for a few minutes. Now he realizes it was a mistake.
"You think, I'll put it in just for two minutes, just for three minutes but, no, you lock the door the minute you leave," Dr. Ricaud said.
Within minutes of his leaving his truck, a suspect opened the passenger side door and removed Dr. Ricaud's bag. Inside the bag was a bundle of cash Dr. Ricaud just withdrew from the bank to pay for a car he was purchasing. His wallet was also in the bag.
"I just put it in the bag to go bring back to the bank and this happened," he said. "I was devastated, to say the least."
Newnan police were called to the scene and immediately began searching the area for the suspect. Another officer, Sgt. Chad Wood looked at the surveillance video from Dr. Ricaud's office and saw the direction the suspect headed.
Sgt. Wood followed the suspect's path, looking in trash cans and dumpsters for any evidence the thief may have discarded.
Across the street from Dr. Ricaud's office is a county library. When Sgt. Wood looked inside a trash can in front of the entrance, he found something.
"When he looked in this trash can, which was outside, he discovered the bag that had been taken out of the truck," Newnan Deputy Chief Rodney Riggs said.
Dr. Ricaud's wallet was inside the bag but the cash in his wallet was gone. But what the suspect didn't realize was that a bundle of cash, almost ten times what was in the wallet, was still in a side pocket in the bag.
"When he saw the money (in the wallet) he took that out, put the wallet back in and threw the bag away," Deputy Chief Riggs said. "He was unaware that the bag contained a substantial amount of money that was still there."
"I mean that was just awesome," Dr. Ricaud said. "To get that back, to get the bag back, I mean 80 percent of the money back is great."
Dr. Ricaud wants to find some way to pay Sgt. Wood back. But Deputy Chief Riggs said his officer was just doing his job.
"We're just happy to be able to return the money to the victim," Riggs said. "Though he didn't get it all back, he got the majority of it back.
Dr. Ricaud is insistent and said he would donate $1,000 to Sgt. Wood's favorite charity.
There's only one thing that could top his appreciation, and that would be the capture of the suspect who stole his bag. Police gave 11Alive News a copy of the surveillance video and are hopeful someone will recognize him and call them.
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