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Seized cash was emergency stash, defendant argues

Richard Pickard

Richard Pickard

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Updated: April 8, 2013 7:40AM

The $2,400 cash Lincolnshire police seized from a Bartlett man accused of computer fraud is emergency household money, not profit from selling stolen computer equipment, an attorney argued Wednesday.

Police took the cash, two laptops, an iPhone and froze all of Richard Pickard’s bank accounts after he was arrested Valentine’s Day.

Pickard, 46, is charged with aggravated computer tampering, computer fraud and theft for allegedly taking computer equipment from Walgreens that knocked out phone operations at 75 Chicago area stores, police said.

Pickard was before Lake County Circuit Court Judge Raymond Collins on Wednesday so his attorney Mike Salvi could try to get his cash and property returned, and his bank accounts unfrozen. Prosecutor Mary Stanton objected.

“The defendant is selling stolen items and had some money wired into his accounts. Two weeks after his arrest ... some of his accounts have been cleared. We believe this is cash obtained from stolen property,” Stanton said.

She asked that the $2,400 cash be held as evidence.

“They have to show probable cause (that the cash) is connected to computer fraud ... He told police this was his family’s emergency cash,” Salvi said.

Salvi said police did not have the right to go in and take “so much property” from his client’s house “merely because he’s accused of theft.”

Collins set the matter it over to March 15.

The judge did allow Pickard to travel out of state to Washington, D.C., and Houston, Texas for work-related training.

“The defendant sold stolen property to someone in Houston,” Stanton said when she objected to the judge lifting the travel ban.

Pickard told Collins he was going to Washington, D.C., to install computer equipment and to Texas for training.

Pickard was released from custody after posting $10,000 bond.

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