Ex-security guard gets year in prison

Posted: Sunday, February 09, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A former security officer has received a one-year prison sentence as part of a plea bargain in federal court.

William ''Don'' Petty was accused of taking more than $200,000 in deposits he collected from Anchorage businesses in 2001.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline accepted a plea bargain by Petty and sentenced him Thursday to 12 months and one day in prison.

Petty, 25, stole and squandered more than $101,000 as a Pinkerton Security Services guard, Beistline noted.

''This is not shoplifting a candy bar,'' Beistline told Petty. ''This has the hallmarks of a real thief.''

Petty pleaded guilty last year to two counts of bank theft for filching money he picked up from local businesses as a security guard between Sept. 1 and Nov. 1, 2001. His job was to put the bags filled with cash, checks and daily receipts in a safe every night and then retrieve them in the morning and deliver them to KeyBank employees, according to an FBI affidavit.

Beistline also ordered Petty to pay restitution of $32,443 to KeyBank and $69,546 to Pinkerton, which paid for some of the bank's losses, according to assistant U.S. attorney Crandon Randell.

Kevin McCoy, assistant federal public defender, asked for six months in jail and six months in a halfway house, saying Petty has never finished high school and needs as much help as possible. But Beistline said he wanted to deter Petty from stealing again.

Petty, with his wife listening in over the phone from their home in Herlong, Calif., apologized to the judge.

Wynn Jennings, district security officer for KeyBank, said in court that Petty's crimes made the bank look foolish to its customers. Bank employees initially didn't know where the money had disappeared to, he said.

''(Customers) believe we have dishonest employees,'' he said. ''They don't want to know what the other problems are.''



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