A man caught on video stealing a Louis Vuitton purse and cash from a Lakewood casino lounge told police he was acting as a janitor.
The 32-year-old pleaded not guilty Monday to first-degree theft and second-degree theft before being released on his own recognizance.
Charging papers give this account:
He found a door that had been left open to an employee lounge in the casino and went inside. Then he rifled through a purse with $3,000 inside, placed it in a trash bag and left the lounge.
Security officers who saw the theft on video surveillance stopped him and recovered the trash bag, but the man ran off.
Shortly afterward, police were called to a nearby restaurant to deal with a man who was stealing food and refusing to leave.
The casino employee’s wallet was found on the man, and officers said he looked similar to the thief on video.
He denied stealing the purse.
When confronted with the video of him taking a trash bag out of the lounge, he allegedly told police, “I’m trying to be their janitor.”