COBB COUNTY, Ga. - A thief’s attempt to gain sympathy from his victim led to the prime piece of evidence against the suspect.
Police identified their suspect after lifting a fingerprint from an apology letter. The victim told Channel 2’s Ross Cavitt he has a history with the man in question.
“He'd call me and say, ‘I'd need some money. Can you help me out? And I'd have him mow the grass or do some pruning of the shrubs or something like that,” Michael Sheevy told Cavitt.
Sheevy felt sorry for suspect Dalton White, a former employee, but said that sympathy came back to bite him.
Sheevy said White stole checks while in his Kennesaw home, and cashed them for $300. Then, Sheevy found an unsigned apology letter in his mailbox on Edgewater Drive, along with another stolen check and $80. The check’s author had crossed out $100 and changed it to $80.
“Well, I thought he was sincere about it but then, I found out about the jewelry missing,” Sheevy said. “If he'd paid me back, that would have been fine, but there's no way I could recover the jewelry. It was gone. I had to call the police.”
Police pulled fingerprints off the letter and linked them to White.
The letter’s author admitted to messing up and “felt like a real idiot.” The author acknowledged Sheevy's help and apologized, promising to make it right.
Some of Sheevy’s jewelry turned up in a Canton pawn shop, but he kept finding more items taken from his home, including some silver coins that were allegedly pawned. Four gold rings, including wedding bands, had been pawned and sold.
“One was my grandmother’s and one was my grandfather’s. They were like 22-karat gold and 20-karat gold, a high school ring and president's club ring with a diamond in it, you can't replace any of that,” Sheevy said.
Police have a warrant out for White, and Michael Sheevy might be out of the helping business.
“You just can't trust people I guess. You try to help them out. Unfortunately, the guy's a criminal. He's a thief,” Sheevy said.