Wallet snatched from disabled veteran


ATLANTA - Someone snatched a wallet from a disabled veteran visiting Atlanta for a medical procedure.

It happened Saturday morning in downtown Atlanta. The victim is Richard Thiede, a former military officer who uses a wheelchair because of ALS, also known as Lou Gherig's disease. He was in town with high hopes for an experimental cure.

Thiede said he had gone outside the Westin Peachtree Plaza for a smoke when a man approached him, asking for a cigarette.

“I reach in, get the cigarettes out. When I get the cigs out, he reaches his hand in, grabs the wallet and tears off,” Thiede told Channel 2’s Jeff Dore.

The thief ran off and disappeared underground at a MARTA station.

Thiede called 911 and police were there in one minute, but the man was gone.

“One of the police officers said, ‘I sure hope we get him. This is why we go to work,'” Thiede said.

Channel 2 Action News

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