A New Jersey Turnpike Authority toll supervisor was convicted of stealing the wallet of a victim of a car crash that occurred at a toll plaza, acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain announced Thursday.
On Wednesday (Oct. 30), an Atlantic County jury found Thomas Giberson, 35, of Cedar Run, Ocean County, guilty of stealing a Massachusetts man’s wallet, which he removed from the scene of a car accident.
In August 2012, Giberson — a 16-year employee of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority — was on duty as a supervisor at the Garden State Parkway's Great Egg Toll Plaza, located in Somers Point, when a motor vehicle accident occurred.
At the toll plaza, Daniel Mensah, of Worcester, Mass., became involved in a motor vehicle accident, when his vehicle was struck by the vehicle behind him. While Mensah was exiting his vehicle, his wallet fell from his lap onto the ground. When Mensah went to retrieve his wallet, he was unable to find it.
New Jersey State Police troopers, who were called to the scene of the accident, were also unable to locate the wallet and questioned Giberson, who was at the scene. Giberson denied having any knowledge as to the wallet's whereabouts.
However, Giberson had found the wallet on the ground, picked it up, and concealed it in his tollbooth.
The disappearance of the wallet was investigated by state troopers, who reviewed the surveillance camera footage at the tollbooth and discovered footage of Giberson removing the wallet from the scene of the accident and taking it out of the view of the cameras.
At the time of the theft, Mensah — who was headed to Wildwood for a family vacation — had $400 cash in his wallet.
State Police charged Giberson with fourth-degree theft.
At trial, the State, represented by Assistant Prosecutor John Moldovan, played the jury the surveillance video of the defendant picking up the wallet and walking away.
The defendant continued to maintain his innocence.
After two hours of deliberation the jury unanimously convicted Giberson of the theft.
Fourth-degree theft carries a sentence of up to 180 days in county jail and up to $10,000 in fines.
Giberson will be sentenced on Dec. 6.— News release from the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office