An episode that involved the theft of more than $1,700 from a local eatery on New Year’s Day was over within five minutes.
About 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thomasville police received a call about a theft at Market Diner, 502 Smith Ave.
“We were told someone has stolen a large amount of money, and the restaurant owners had made contact with the suspect outside,” said Scott Newberry, a Thomasville Police Department detective.
When officers arrived, the suspect, James Lamons, 44, 124 Andrews St., was giving the money back to the victims, Newberry said.
The detective said Lamons was sitting at a table near the cash register and apparently saw one of the owners place money in a purse under the counter.
An employee saw Lamons walking out of the restaurant and recognized what he was carrying as an owner’s purse.
The purse was found near pallets at the nearby state farmers market.
Lamons is charged with felony theft by taking.