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Man says “this is my car” while in someone else’s car, stealing from purse at gas station in Dalton

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help to identify a man who stole cash and financial information from a couple’s car while they were inside a local convenience store. When confronted by the owners of the car, the suspect gave back the money but got away with information about the couple’s bank accounts and other financial information. The suspect was recorded by surveillance at the store. The incident happened January 5th at the RaceTrac gas station on West Walnut Avenue. A couple traveling to Florida from Wisconsin stopped at the gas station to refuel and visit the convenience store. When they came back out to their car, the found the suspect in the driver’s seat. According to a police report, when one of the victims confronted the suspect and asked why he was in their vehicle, the suspect first said “this is my car.” The victim told police that he saw that his wife’s purse was in the suspect’s lap. He grabbed the purse back from the suspect and saw that that $400 that was supposed to be inside was in the suspect’s hand. When he confronted the suspect, he gave back the money but folded up a piece of paper and walked away towards another car parked in front of the store. The suspect left the scene and the victim realized that a piece of paper that contained financial info about the couple’s bank accounts and investments was missing from inside their vehicle. They contacted all of their financial institutions and continued on their trip, reporting the incident to police by phone the next day. The suspect was recorded by the store’s surveillance system inside the store just before he entered the victim’s vehicle. He is a white male described by witnesses as being in his late 30s or early 40s, standing approximately 5’9” tall with reddish brown hair and wearing a long sleeved black or navy blue t-shirt, tan pants, glasses, and a University of Tennessee at Chattanooga ballcap. After the confrontation with the victims, the suspect left in a gold colored Ford Fusion. Anyone who recognizes this suspect is asked to please contact Detective Matthew Kumnick at 706-278-9085, dial 9 and enter extension 224.