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Thomas Rica Stole Quarters, Took Home $460,000 From NJ Town By Filling His Pockets

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THOMAS RICA RIDGEWOOD
Thomas Rica, a former Ridgewood borough employee, seen at at the Bergen County Courthouse. Rica has pleaded guilty to stealing $460,000 in quarters. | ASSOCIATED PRESS

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. (AP) — The former public works inspector for a northern New Jersey town has admitted stealing $460,000 in quarters.

The Record (http://bit.ly/1dqaq0f ) reports Thomas Rica pleaded guilty Wednesday to four counts of theft. In return, prosecutors will recommend that he receive five years' probation and pay about $200,000 in restitution to Ridgewood.

The 43-year-old Hawthorne resident lost his job with Ridgewood in January 2013, following his arrest for taking $500 in coins from its parking meter collection room. But investigators later determined that he stole $460,000 overall.

Authorities said the thefts occurred over the course of 25 months. They say Rica was not authorized to be in the room but would enter it and fill his pockets with money. They say he deposited the money — more than 1.8 million quarters — in his bank account.

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Information from: The Record (Woodland Park, N.J.), http://www.northjersey.com

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