Tuesday, November 13 , 2018, 9:06 pm | Fair 53º


Santa Barbara Police Say Public’s Help Led to Restaurant Patron Who Allegedly Absconded with Cash

Suspect in pizza parlor cash theft Click to view larger
Santa Barbara police say the public’s help led to the identity of this man, who they allege absconded with a sizable amount of cash that was dropped by a fellow restaurant patron on Monday. (Santa Barbara Police Department photo)

Santa Barbara police say they have identified and located a man they allege absconded with a sizable amount of cash that was dropped by a fellow restaurant patron.

"Thanks to the public's help, the suspect has been identified and contacted by SBPD detectives," said Anthony Wagner, a Santa Barbara Police Department spokesman. "The investigation remains ongoing."

The man's name was not released.

The incident occurred on Monday at the Rusty’s Pizza Parlor at 111 State St., Wagner said.

“The patron, who was headed to the bank to make a deposit following the meal, began to count his money at the table,” Wagner said. “The patron’s wife scolded him and told him that he should not count his money in public. He then placed the money back into his pocket.”

As the man and his wife were leaving the restaurant, the cash fell unnoticed out of his pocket, Wagner said.

Moments later, another restaurant patron — wearing a red-plaid button-down shirt — had just finished paying for a pizza and walked from the counter to a booth near the fallen cash, Wagner said.

“The subject places his cup on the table and then bends down and picks up the cash,” Wagner said. “The subject nervously looked around as he sits down and examines what he has found. Realizing what he has recovered, the subject then walks out of the restaurant, without getting his food and without his soda cup.”

The victim came back to the restaurant to search for the missing money.

“The male subject returns to the restaurant and observes the patron searching for his missing money,” Wagner said. “The male subject does not make any effort to return the money.”

The Police Department Property Crimes Unit has initiated an investigation into the case as a suspected misappropriation of found property.

Section 485 of the state Penal Code reads as follows:

“One who finds lost property under circumstances which give him knowledge of or means of inquiry as to the true owner, and who appropriates such property to his own use, or to the use of another person not entitled thereto, without first making reasonable and just efforts to find the owner and to restore the property to him, is guilty of theft.”

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Detective Kyle Lowry at 805.897.2326, by email at [email protected], or anonymously at 805.897.2386.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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