While the old adage “finders keepers, losers weepers!” may hold true in the case of the stolen silly band or the swiped snack cake, it’s generally not considered a sound justification for wallet theft, particularly when that wallet contains $800 in cash. On Wednesday, Aug. 4, however, Knoxville police tried—and failed—to explain the differences between playground logic and the law to a 49-year-old Knoxville man.
It all started when a 19-year-old male, waiting with his ill mother in the emergency room of a local hospital, left the ER to purchase a snack in the lobby. He laid his wallet down on a statue next to the vending machines, the KPD reports, and sat in a chair a few feet away to enjoy his snack. About 15 minutes later, the young man returned to the statue to retrieve his wallet, but it had already been swiped—and the culprit caught on camera.
When the young man asked the crowd in the lobby if they knew the whereabouts of his wallet, the suspect did not own up. Later, however, when being questioned by KPD officials who had seen the security tape, the suspect “stated he was going to try and call the victim later and if he could not make contact, the wallet and money were his to keep.”
Police tried to explain that the suspect needed to turn the wallet over to security, which caused the suspect to become agitated, claiming to police “he did not have to do that and [the wallet] was his to keep.”