Cop charged with theft
BY STACI WILSON
A local police officer faces theft charges after she allegedly took $2,400 from a friend’s wallet.
Rhonda Smith, 43, Montrose, was charged by Tpr. Craig Purdum with felony counts of theft by unlawful taking or disposition of funds and receiving stolen property.
Smith has been placed on a temporary suspension from her part-time position with the Montrose police force pending the outcome of the case, according to Mayor John Wilson.
Smith is also a member of the Lanesboro Police Department. Mayor Chris Maby said she has been placed on unpaid administrative leave pending the proceedings.
According to the affidavit filed in Montrose District Court, a friend of Smith’s stayed with her for a weekend in late July and was carrying about $5,000 in her wallet.
The friend – identified in court documents as Christina Lopez – told police that she was carrying the cash because she was going to be moving.
When Lopez left Smith’s home, she noticed about $2,400 in cash was missing from her wallet.
According to the affidavit, Lopez told police she contacted Smith by text message and told her the money was missing. She also told Smith she had written down the serial numbers of the cash.
About 20 minutes later, Smith contacted Lopez and asked to meet her at a park in Montrose. When Lopez arrived, Smith got into her vehicle and asked her if she ever did something bad and handed Lopez $700, according to the affidavit, and told the woman she needed the money for plane tickets for her son.
According to police, Smith denied taking the remainder of the cash.
Smith was arraigned Wednesday, Aug. 6, in Montrose District Court by Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey Hollister and released on unsecured bail.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled to be held Monday, Aug. 18 in Montrose District Court.