A man who allegedly swiped a wallet from a Bellevue gas-station checkout counter has turned himself in, after his co-workers saw him on...
A man who allegedly swiped a wallet from a Bellevue gas-station checkout counter has turned himself in, after his co-workers saw him on television news reports and teased him for being the thief, Bellevue police said.
The 40-year-old Puyallup man went to police Friday, apparently because he wanted to halt the airing of the surveillance video before his children saw him stealing on TV, said Bellevue police spokesman Michael Chiu.
Police released the surveillance video after a 23-year-old Bellevue man lost the wallet Jan. 14 at the Shell station at Northeast Eighth Street and 120th Avenue Northeast. The camera caught the Puyallup man pocketing the wallet as he paid for a six-pack of beer.
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Police said they released the images to emphasize that it’s considered theft to keep found property.
After the video aired on TV, the man’s co-workers at a Bellevue warehouse said they recognized him and were “pointing fingers and laughing at him,” Chiu said.
So the man and a co-worker, who was with him at the store and was also shown on the surveillance video, went to their boss, who told them, “You have to take care of business,” Chiu said.
Police arrested the Puyallup man and then immediately released him pending a misdemeanor theft charge, Chiu said. The Seattle Times generally does not name people until they are charged.
The man’s friend will not be charged with a crime, Chiu said.
The man who accidentally left the wallet on the gas-station counter works two jobs to support his family and had $500 in the wallet, Chiu said. Since the theft was publicized, he has received hundreds of dollars in donations, Chiu said.
Chiu said the Puyallup man also decided to turn himself in because both he and the victim are Latino, and he felt guilty that another Latino with a family was going through trouble.
Ashley Bach: 206-464-2567 or firstname.lastname@example.org