TOPEKA, Kansas (KSNT) – An Oklahoma couple on their way to Texas had more than $25,000 taken at a Topeka Wal-Mart days before this past Christmas.
“I got some money and I was going to put it in the bank here in town,” said Kim Walker on Tuesday. “But they had problems with the computer so I had to carry it with me.”
That money was a gift to Walker and Dwayne Witacre from a friend who died not long before Christmas.
While the R.V. they were driving was being repaired in Hoyt on Dec. 16, the couple went to the north Topeka Wal-Mart. The pushed their cart around, checked out and left; leaving the bag of money in the cart.
Walker only realized the bag was gone once they were back in the car and by then, it was too late.
“He opened up the bag,” she said about what she saw on the surveillance tapes. “You can see where he opened it, saw what was in there … he was very smooth.”
The money, Walker said in December, was for a trip to visit family in the state then to fulfill Walker’s father’s dying wish.
“That was his last wish. To go to the Alamo,” she said.
On Tuesday, almost a month after the money was stolen, the pair got a call they had been waiting for.
A Topeka Police Department detective called them to say the man who allegedly stole the bag full of money had been arrested.
Steven L. Warner, 53, of Auburn, was arrested on January 10 in a motel in south Topeka.
The tip, according to police, was called into the CrimeStoppers tip line. He was booked into the Shawnee County Jail in connection with the theft.
“It was like, oh my gosh. I can’t believe this. I was amazed,” Walker said when she heard about the arrest.