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Dentures stolen right out of woman's mouth, say Va. cops

RICHMOND, Va. - Sometimes when a relationship hits the skids, maybe an engagement ring gets taken back.

But false teeth?

Police in Richmond, Va. say that's what happened to a woman whose dentures were pulled right out of her mouth by a man she knew, reports CBS affiliate WTVR.

According to Richmond police Capt. Roger Russell, those who heard the argument between them told authorities the suspect - Linwood Harris - shouted "he had paid for them and was taking them back."

The victim told WTVR it was "a fatal attraction thing" that led to her dentures being wrestled out of her mouth.

The station spoke with her Wednesday afternoon on camera but she didn't want to show her whole face during the interview because she says she is upset and self-conscious about being seen without her false teeth. She said her real teeth were badly loosened during a car crash that also left her face scarred, and that she eventually lost the teeth.

She also told the station she couldn't afford dentures until Harris, a former neighbor who, she says, became attracted to her, paid for them.

She said he wasn't her lover, but a friend - a man who looked out for her, and admired her, she believed.

But, she said, he wanted more. His calls and appearances at her door eventually became too much, so she warned him off, WTVR reported.

Linwood Harris was waiting outside of her apartment Tuesday evening as she walked out to do her laundry, she said, describing how he grabbed her behind her neck and forced the dentures from her mouth.

Police Capt. Russell, who will have been on the police force 30 years this summer, said it's the first denture robbery he's seen. He said the victim could have been hurt during the attack and they're taking it seriously.

The Richmond Police Dept. tweeted Thursday that officers had found the stolen false teeth, and the thief.

Police told WTVR that a detective returned the dentures to the victim.

There has been no word yet on what charges Harris is facing. Court records show he was convicted of misdemeanor assault in 1992 in Richmond and was given a 12-month suspended sentence.

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