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Ridgewood still shocked over worker’s coin theft

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Ridgewood still shocked over worker’s coin theft

FEBRUARY 12, 2015, 8:21 PM    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2015, 10:48 PM
BY CHRIS HARRIS
STAFF WRITER |
THE RECORD

RIDGEWOOD — Some seven months after he admitted stealing $460,000 in parking meter quarters from a storage room in Village Hall, Thomas Rica’s thievery still has residents confused, shocked and disappointed.

Villagers wonder how Rica — a former Ridgewood public works inspector — stole more than a million quarters without help from an accomplice. Other residents are stunned that his crime wave went undetected for so long.

Others remain in utter disbelief over his punishment, which veteran prosecutors have characterized as a “sweetheart deal.”

“I am insane over all of it,” Kay Griffith said Thursday as she left lunch at Raymond’s eatery with a friend. “I’m really very upset.”

Last summer, Rica admitted in court that he took $460,000 in loose quarters from Ridgewood’s coin room.

Rica, who lives in Hawthorne, accepted a plea offer in July that spared him prison time. His sentence is five years’ probation in the deal, brokered by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.

Rica must also pay back about half the money over the course of his probation, the deal mandates.

https://www.northjersey.com/news/ridgewood-still-shocked-over-worker-s-coin-theft-1.1270501