Crime And Criminals Blog - Crimes, criminals, scams and frauds.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Belleville police have arrested a man accused of commiting the dumbest crime imaginable -- trying to steal money from a donation jar set out for an injured Belleville police officer.

In custody today in the St. Clair County Jail is Richard A. Hedger Jr., 34, of Belleville.

Police grabbed him Wednesday at the Community Kindness Resale Shop in Belleville.

Police Sgt. Ron Sprinz said this morning that Hedger had tried to take a $5 bill from a donation jar set out to aid Belleville Police Sgt. Jon Brough.

Brough suffered massive wounds on Nov. 10 while trying to end an standoff with a murder suspect who later killed himself.

On Wednesday, a 70-year-old woman working the counter at the resale shop saw a man try to take a $5 bill from the jar. She chided him as other people in the store called police, who responded quickly.

Hedger is well-known to Belleville police. Two years ago, he was convicted of spitting on a Belleville officer. He was convicted earlier this year of a second assault. At the time of his arrest Wednesday, he was on parole.

To describe Hedger, the police department's Sprinz used several colorful terms, none of which can be printed in a family newspaper. Basically, Sprinz described Hedger as a police character who's all too familiar to Belleville's officers.

Asked if the arrest for trying to steal money that's meant for one of the police department's own was an especially satisfying arrest, Sprinz said: "With him, it's a weekly arrest."

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