PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When Robert Simpson placed a white envelope on the counter of a 7-Eleven on the North Side last summer with $220 in it, he forgot to take it with him after a transaction at the counter.
When he returned, it was gone. He was sure he left it on the counter and talked to a clerk.
“She told me at that point that if that’s the case, I can tell you exactly who took it because the cameras will show you,” he said.
The surveillance video was reviewed and it showed that a few minutes earlier, city detective Michael Reddy allegedly took it.
He testified at a hearing this week that he didn’t know who the money belonged to and intended to turn it in to police. Reddy told no one else that he had the money, not even his partner as they drove on a detail to Mercer County.
When he got back, Reddy testified that his superiors called him to the office and he asked if the meeting was about the money and that he intended to turn it over.
District Judge James Hanley dropped theft charges against Reddy, agreeing with his defense attorney that Reddy complied with police policy by turning it in at the end of his shift.
But Simpson, who eventually got his money back, has questions about how Reddy reacted when he returned to the store.
KDKA’s Harold Hayes questioned Simpson.
Hayes: “At some point when you came back in the store you’re saying to people…”
Simpson: “Has anybody seen my money.”
Hayes: “Was detective Reddy there then?”
Simpson: “Yes, he was. He was on two occasions. I came back in the store and both occasions he was standing less than 15 feet from me when I asked for my money. And he never responded. And he’s standing there with it in his pocket. Anybody who knows me knows that if I’m talking you can hear me a block away.”
Simpson does not agree with the dropping of charges.
“Shocked more so than surprised. I couldn’t understand how someone gets caught on video taking something just gets away with it,” says Simpson.
“I’m the kind of guy who believes in the system,” Simpson says. “Here they’re showing me that the system doesn’t work, at least it doesn’t work in Allegheny County.”
Detective Reddy remains on administrative leave during an internal investigation, according to the city.
The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office says they’ll review the transcript before deciding whether they’ll refile any charges against the detective.
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