Illinois man has wallet stolen after he collapses

(Source: KTVI/CNN)

(KTVI/CNN) – Police say a man's medical emergency became another's chance at a quick buck. The callous crime in Illinois was caught on camera.

For Larry Lotter, it was a sudden and terrifying experience.

"I felt fine, and then all at once, I took a drink of my beer, and I felt a real sharp pain, like somebody sticking an ice pick in my chest," Lotter said.

When Larry hit the floor, friends called 911 and quickly gathered around him to help.

Bryan Kuegler also hovered and appeared to be concerned, but the reality was far from it.

"As the EMT's were getting ready to come in, is when he reached down and grabbed my wallet and stuck it in his pants," Lotter said.

"And then as the victim left the establishment, he went into the restroom, returned, and threw the victim's wallet back on the floor," Madison Co. Sheriff's Dept. Capt. Mike Dixon said.

Kuegler took two $50 bills out of the wallet.

"He tried to buy the girl that Larry was with that day a drink with the money he took," Rock Bottom Bar owner Mike Lovsey said.

Luckily, the heart attack was a false alarm for Lotter. And thanks to the clear surveillance video, he was quickly able to identify the suspect. Lotter had installed brakes on Kuegler's car about a month ago.

"Real shocked," Lotter said. "The night I went home, I could hardly sleep because it bothered me so bad."

"He was trying to play Good Samaritan, and then turned around and ripped the guy off at the same time," Lovsey said. "I was shocked. I couldn't believe someone would do something like that."

Now Kuegler is behind bars in Madison County, charged with felony theft from person. If convicted, he'll likely serve two to five years in prison.

"Rarely have I seen somebody literally steal from what they believe to be a dying man," Dixon said. "It's pretty pathetic."

"That's where he belongs," Lotter said. "I hope he gets a long time out of it, honestly."

According to Lotter, doctors say he did not have a heart attack, and it's possible the suspect slipped something into his drink.

Investigators say Kuegler has a long criminal history, with offenses including theft, domestic battery and narcotics.

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