A 27-year-old Connecticut man was charged with second-degree larceny after he was allegedly caught on camera stealing $100 in birthday money from an autistic man.
News that Patrick Kogut, 27, was robbed of his birthday money sparked an outpouring of public support. Stamford police say that public attention helped them nab their suspect, 27-year-old Steven St Jacques.
St Jacques, who is on probation and is facing charges for a December 2013 assault and robbery, was arrested Monday and is being held on $50,000 bond.
That same day, Kogut and his mother Irena Kogut received $1,300 in donations from the Stamford Police Department to make up for the missing birthday cash, the Stamford Advocate reported.
"We were able to get Patrick back his money and then some," said Sgt. Kelly Connelly.
"Thanks you, guys. Thank you, guys,” Kogut beamed.
On Sept. 9, Kogut was walking into the Stamford Town Center mall when he was approached by an African American male who spoke to him for a moment and then he reached into his pocket and handed the suspect the $100 that his family had just given him to celebrate his birthday.
Security footage caught the exchange on camera. Although it is unclear what the suspect said to him, he allegedly taunted Kogut with the cash. According to the Stamford Advocate, the suspect plays keep away with the bills and then pretends to put the money back in Kogut’s pocket.
Believing he had the money back, Kogut hugged the man and proceeded on his way. The suspect walked away in the opposite direction with the cash.
Police say tips from the public led to St Jacques' arrest. A search at his home allegedly turned up clothing that the suspect was seen wearing in the surveillance footage.
"The power of the media blew this thing up to a great effect,” said Lt. Diedrich Hohn.
St Jacques will be arraigned in state Superior Court in Stamford on Tuesday.
Image Credit: YouTube, Stamford Police Department