Texas City police officer Linnard R. Crouch wasn’t the first cop in his family nailed for stealing just days before Christmas.
And he might not be the last.
And if the thought of a cop stealing isn’t bad enough, officer Crouch was caught on his own body camera stealing from an elderly man, 74-year-old James Mabe.
Mabe was suffering a heart attack when Crouch rolled up and stole $2,000 of the $2,400 his wife had given him to buy Christmas gifts on December 19, 2016.
Crouch never tried to save Mabe’s life, according to officials who have seen the footage.
Before stealing from the dying, Crouch was repetitively found to have violated department policy by not having his body camera turned on when handling the property of people arrested and detained, according to a civil lawsuit filed by Mabe’s family after his death.
“At a time when seconds could mean life or death, as my husband clung to life, a police officer who is charged by law to protect and serve robbed my husband when he needed help the most,” James Mabe’s widow Linda said after her husband’s tragic death.
Incredibly, in 1966, just 50 years earlier, Crouch’s grandfather, Clarence Linnard Crouch, stole several transistor radios from the same department while on duty, according to records.
At the time, officer Clarence Crouch told another cop the radios would make good Christmas gifts.
And it was Christmas gifts that James Mabe planned on buying the afternoon of December 19, 2016 when he died of a heart attack.
Mabe was visiting his son Michael, an attorney and business owner in Texas City, Texas where Linda was also employed.
Linda handed $2,400 in cash to James, so he could buy some Christmas gifts for the family. James drove away to buy presents.
A short distance from his son’s office, James stopped his vehicle on the street.
Texas City police received a call regarding a truck stopped in the roadway.
That’s when officer Linnard Crouch arrived on scene in his squad car. It was around 5:40 p.m.
After opening Mabes’ locked truck door, Crouch reached into James’ right from pocket and removed $2,400.
There was only one problem: Crouch never reported the $2,400.
Instead, he gave back a bag to Mabe’s wife containing $300.
Relatives reported the theft and Crouch resigned from the Texas City Police Department on January 30, 2017.
Then, in July 2017, Crouch was arrested and charged with theft after Mabe’s family filed a lawsuit against him and Texas City, which was later settled for an undisclosed amount.
Crouch pleaded guilty to one count of theft by a public servant and received 10 years of probation with no jail time on Tuesday, September 2.
As part of the plea deal, an aggravated assault charge stemming from an incident involving a gun and his girlfriend was dismissed, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Read the lawsuit filed Mabe’s family against officer Crouch and the Texas City Poice Department here.