Alleged dinosaur replica thieves surrender in N.C.

Logan Todd Ritchey, 21, and Alyssa Ann Lavacca, 21 WRAL

RALEIGH, N.C.- A couple who allegedly stole a model of a baby dinosaur from a Raleigh museum on Monday have surrendered after video of the theft was widely publicized, reports CBS affiliate WRAL.

The alleged thieves were caught on surveillance camera stealing the polymer resin model of an Edmontosaurus (duck-billed) hatchling from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science. The replica is only about 12-14 inches long, but its estimated worth is around $10,000, says the station.

After the video was widely publicized through the media, police said a man dropped off a bag near the rear service entrance of the science museum that contained the dinosaur replica, but left before police arrived.

The alleged thieves, Logan Todd Ritchey, 21, and Alyssa Ann Lavacca, 21, reportedly surrendered to State Capitol Police on Thursday.

In the video, a couple is seen walking around the Prehistoric North Carolina exhibit and waiting until there were no other museum patrons in the area to steal the dinosaur, according to authorities. Surveillance footage captures the man jumping over the exhibit barrier, grabbing the dino model, and climbing back out before putting the replica in his female companion's bag.

Lavacca and Ritchey were also spotted on a security video snatching several items from the North Carolina Museum of History shortly before the dinosaur theft, police said, reports the station. The pair has been charged with conspiracy to commit felony larceny and two counts of theft or destruction of property of public libraries or museums.

"I doubt these two individuals realized the seriousness of tampering with artifacts and exhibits in a public museum," State Capitol Police Chief Glen Allen said in a statement.

  • Crimesider Staff

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