Caught On Tape: Detective Helps Himself To Envelope Full Of Money, But Does He Face Charges?
A Pittsburgh homicide detective was caught on tape in July taking an envelope full of money from the counter of a 7-11, but the man whose cash that was says he is “shocked” that Detective Michael Reddy has not faced charges — even though he says when he came back into the store looking for his money, Reddy stood there and said nothing.
Reddy originally faced theft charges but he claimed that he had no plans to keep the money, so on September 30 a judge threw out all charges against him. On Monday, the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office filed charges against Reddy again in the alleged theft of the money.
On July 15, Robert Simpson was making a purchase at the 7-11 convenience store on Pittsburgh’s North Side when he set down an envelope containing $220 cash on the counter, intending to pick it back up after completing his transaction.
But when he was done, he absent-mindedly walked out of the store without the envelope.
Quickly realizing his screw-up, Simpson turned around and went back into the 7-11, but the envelope containing his money was nowhere to be found. Simpson told Pittsburgh’s KDKA-TV that when he came back to the store and asked other customers loudly if anyone had seen his money, Reddy was standing right there but said nothing. Twice.
“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.”
When Simpson eventually asked the 7-11 clerk to see the store’s surveillance video, the recording showed a man lifting the envelope and placing it in his pocket. That man was Detective Michael Reddy — who told no one, not even his partner, that he was walking around with an envelope full of money until his bosses called him in to their office several hours later.
At that time, Reddy handed over the envelope.
“It was never my intention to keep one cent of that money,” Reddy testified at a September 30 hearing, at which a judge dismissed the charges against him.
But on Monday the charges were refiled, leaving Reddy’s lawyer, James Wymard, “shocked and surprised.”
But it was Simpson who said he was “shocked” when the charges against Reddy were thrown out.
“I couldn’t understand how someone gets caught on video taking something just gets away with it. I’m the kind of guy who believes in the system. Here they’re showing me that the system doesn’t work.”
Legal experts say that while prosecutors are allowed to refile charges before a case has gone to trial, it normally means they have new evidence. But the new evidence, if there is any, in the case of a detective taking money is not yet clear.