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Man Steals Judge's Gavel From Courtroom [VIDEO]

Apr 12, 2011 – 2:31 PM
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Ben Muessig

Ben Muessig Contributor

Here's one way to show your contempt of court.

Investigators say an Ohio man was caught on tape stealing a judge's gavel from a courtroom in Lorain.

Footage shows a man identified as Christopher Collins, 39, entering Municipal Court Magistrate Chris Cook's courtroom on March 30 and approaching the bench.

Collins, accompanied by another individual who has not been charged, appears to grab the gavel and slip it into his shirtsleeve before exiting the empty courtroom.

After realizing the gavel was missing on April 4, the magistrate and his staff reviewed surveillance footage and turned the recordings over to police, The Chronicle-Telegram reports.

"That's a motivated thief to steal from a courtroom," Cook told the paper.

No one at the court recognized Collins from the video, but they were able to pick out his accomplice as a man who "was in court on that day trying to get his license back," according to a police report obtained by The Smoking Gun.

Eventually, police identified Collins as a suspect and questioned him about the stolen item.

Collins reportedly "admitted to stealing the gavel, but stated he did not have it at [his] house," police documents indicate.

Instead, Collins said he left the gavel with "a male whom he barely knows" who drove him home from the courthouse, according to the police report.

Collins has been charged with petty theft.

Read more at The Chronicle-Telegram and The Smoking Gun.

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