Truesee's Daily Wonder

Truesee presents the weird, wild, wacky and world news of the day.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

 

Robber Caught Wearing Watch Stolen From Police Officer

Trooper recovers stolen wallet, with a bonus

Officer reports theft, tracks down suspect

MIKE CHALMERS 

The News Journal 

September 8, 2009

 

photo

Angel Cruz of Philadelphia was carrying several stolen credit cards and driving a stolen Blazer, police said.

 

An off-duty state trooper thought he was just trying to recover his wife's stolen wallet Sunday afternoon

He got back the wallet -- plus a colleague's long-lost keepsake.

The story began about 2 p.m. after the trooper and his family finished eating at TGI Fridays on Rocky Run Parkway, said state police spokesman Cpl. Jeff Whitmarsh. He did not name the trooper.

As the trooper walked back to his car, he noticed a maroon Chevrolet Blazer parked unusually close.

The Blazer drove away, and the trooper discovered someone had popped his passenger-side door lock and stolen his wife's wallet.

Whitmarsh said the trooper dropped his family at home so his wife could make some calls to cancel their credit cards. The trooper then returned to the area in his police cruiser to look for the Blazer.

He found the Blazer parked outside Sears at Concord Mall. Next to the Blazer, a man was leaning into an SUV and rummaging through the glove box, Whitmarsh said.

When the trooper identified himself, the man jumped back into the Blazer and tried to drive away. The trooper, hanging from the Blazer's partially open door, struggled with the man and reached inside to put the vehicle in park.

Other troopers arrived and took the man -- identified as Angel Cruz, 54, of Philadelphia -- into custody, Whitmarsh said.

Cruz was carrying several stolen credit cards, Whitmarsh said, and the Blazer had been reported stolen in Philadelphia.

But what really caught the troopers' attention was the watch Cruz was wearing.

It was a Delaware State Police trooper's 20-year watch, which had been stolen from a trooper's car on Dec. 21, 2007, while he shopped along Concord Pike.

The thief in that incident had also stolen the trooper's identification and credentials.

Whitmarsh said that trooper had all but given up hope of seeing the watch again.

Cruz had modified the watch so the months in the dial were in Spanish, instead of English, Whitmarsh said.

Cruz, who was later admitted to Wilmington Hospital after a medical complaint, has been charged with theft, receiving stolen property, reckless endangering, resisting arrest and other charges. Bail information was not available.

Whitmarsh said the case shows that people should "never give up hope when a treasured item is lost or stolen."


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