Man charged with theft after asking for reward for stolen phone

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – A Nebraska man was arrested for stealing a phone and asking for a reward in return for giving it back to its owner.

According to court documents, Roger Whitebear, 43, of Winnebago, was at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Sioux City on January 28 at 5:30 p.m. when he noticed a phone sitting between two slot machines. He picked the phone up, concealed it, and exited the casino.

The phone case contained the victim’s debit card and driver’s license, and after Whitebear had left the casino, there was an attempted transaction on the debit card at a nearby Walmart.

The owner tracked the phone to Winnebago and offered a reward for the return of the phone. After posting the reward, Whitebear called the owner and said he wanted a higher reward than the one offered for returning the phone.

The phone was returned to Hard Rock security. The phone, case, debit card, and driver’s license were worth more than $1,500.

Whitebear was located and interviewed before being charged with second-degree theft. He was booked into the Woodbury County Jail.

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