Ex-Texas City officer gets probation in Christmas cash theft

TEXAS CITY, Texas -- A former Texas City police officer must serve 10 years of probation in a plea deal over more than $2,000 in Christmas present money stolen from a man who suffered a fatal heart attack.

The Galveston County Daily News reports Linnard Ray Crouch pleaded guilty to theft and was sentenced Tuesday. An unrelated assault count was dismissed.

Crouch in December 2016 responded to a vehicle stopped on a road.

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Driver James Mabe's wife had given him $2,400 to buy Christmas presents. A family attorney says officials aren't sure if Mabe had already died when the money was stolen.

Crouch, at the hospital, gave the now-widow a bag containing several hundred dollars.

Relatives reported the theft. Crouch resigned in January 2017.

The family's lawsuit against Texas City and Crouch was settled.

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