Thomas Rica, the former public works inspector in northern New Jersey, pled guilty to theft last week. Rica was alleged to have stolen $460,000.00 in quarters from the city parking meter collection room. Reports indicate that it took Rica over 25 months to steal the quarters.
Authorities were first alerted to Rica's actions in January, 2013 when he was arrested for theft after taking $500.00 in quarters from the collection room. However, after reviewing Rica's banking records, and other evidence, it became clear that Rica's affection for change amounted to much more than a few hundred dollars.
Although Rica was not technically authorized to be in the parking meter collection room, he appears that he would gain access to the room anyway. Once inside, he would fill his pockets with quarters, which he later deposited into his bank. The theft amounted to more than 1.8 million quarters carried out of the building by Rica.
As a result of his plea negotiations, Rica pled guilty to four counts of theft. He will be facing five years' probation and will pay approximately $200,000.00 back to the city in restitution. His plea negotiation required him to plead guilty in open court and admit to stealing the quarters.
Theft crimes are serious, even when it appears to only be a pocket of quarters. In fact, a number of Nevada statutes describe the penalties for theft crimes based upon the amount or value stolen. So when the quarters add up to thousands of dollars, as they did in this case, a person found guilty of theft, robbery, larceny or another theft crime, could be facing a felony conviction.
In every criminal case there is a presumption of innocence. However, where an individual wishes to negotiate a plea with the State they often find that process difficult if they do not have the assistance of qualified legal counsel. The Las Vegas criminal attorneys at Brown Law Offices have been negotiating agreements, like the one Rica received, for over a decade. Contacting our office today will give you the opportunity to meet with one of our attorney's to discuss the facts of your case, develop possible defenses, and discuss what your negotiation options might be should you choose to pursue them. Call us 24/7 to schedule a free consultation. (702) 405-0505.