Former Ramsey County Deputy Thomas Keith Rudenick agreed to a plea deal late last month involving property he received as evidence in crimes he was investigating. Former Deputy Rudenick admitted in his guilty plea that instead of checking the items into evidence or returning them to the victims, who they had been stolen from originally, he pawned them and kept the money he received from those illegal sales.
Rudenick had retired on February 1st from the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office after 25 years. His thievery was actually discovered as a result.
Rudenick’s department colleagues divvied up items and files left in his office after he retired and began checking on cases that appeared to be unresolved.
In one case, an officer called the victim of a residence theft to confirm Rudenick had returned her items and learned that he had not.
The items had not been entered into evidence, so the officer checked the automated pawn system and discovered Rudenick had pawned items matching those reported stolen in the case.
The Washington County attorney’s office was asked to handle the investigation to avoid a conflict of interest.
In all, Rudenick pawned items valued at $4,600 to $5,200 between December 2014 and May 2015, according to the charges.
In spite of Rudenick having agreed to plead guilty to a felony charge, his plea deal stipulated that he would only have to serve not any more than 30 days in jail. He also agreed to pay restitution to the rightful owners of the property he pawned. An additional gross misdemeanor that he was originally charged with was dismissed as part of the plea deal, as well. His formal sentencing is scheduled for December 18th.