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In Neuman, Georgia, it isn’t just fluoride and proper brushing that are competing with dentist Dr. Artie Ricaud for his money. This Neuman dentist almost lost the hard-earned tooth cash to a thief, one who tossed a bag containing thousands in cash in the trashcan after helping himself to the contents of Ricaud’s wallet.
Maybe it’s true that you don’t know what you’ve got, til it’s gone … or until the theft charges hit.
The victim explained that he had withdrawn several thousand dollars in order to make a car purchase, but he had stowed the cash briefly in a bag in the bed of his truck while he ran into his office, Yahoo! News reports.
Luckily for Dr. Ricaud, Neuman police reviewed the surveillance footage from the dentist office and caught the perpetrator on tape.
The footage has the not-so-precise pilferer, a large adult male, walking slowly toward Ricaud's truck, quickly lifting the bag from the truck, and briskly walking away.
Local Sergeant Chad Wood searched the area and found Ricaud's bag, and surprisingly the lion's share of the cash, in a trash can at a nearby library. The recovered bag also contained Ricaud's wallet, which had been emptied of a relatively small amount of cash.
Deputy Chief Riggs speculates that the hasty thief saw the cash in the wallet, removed it, and then returned it to the bag without locating the larger amount of currency.
Under Georgia law, if the thief is apprehended he will face charges for theft by taking, ordinarily a misdemeanor.
However, since Rinaud's bag contained more than $500 in cash, our pickup truck plunderer may face a felony charge with 1 - 10 years in prison.
If the alleged thief is apprehended, his lawyer may argue that his client did not intend to deprive Dr. Rinaud of the thousands of dollars in the bag, since he had no clue the cash was there.
Theft by taking is a specific intent crime, so the thief must have the specific intent to deprive the owner of his property.
A smart prosecutor will remind the court that our unlucky thief intended to deprive the bag from Dr. Rinaud permanently and disposed of it in a manner that its owner was unlikely to recover it, by throwing it in the trash.
Word to the wise, incompetence in judging your loot before you toss it is not a legal defense.