Man indicted for stealing from blind cashier

CLEVELAND (AP) - A man was indicted on a felony theft charge after prosecutors said he robbed a blind coffee shop cashier at least twice.
Richard Smith, 53, of suburban Broadview Heights, is accused of buying small items at the basement coffee shop in the Cuyahoga County courthouse and telling blind proprietor Marty Skutnik that he paid with a $20 bill. Instead, Smith paid with smaller bills and pocketed the extra change, prosecutors said.
For years, Skutnik has depended on customers to tell him what they are buying and how much money they give him.
Smith, who was indicted Thursday, is accused of stealing about $40 on the two occasions in March. He resigned on April 9 from his job in the microfilm department at the county clerk's office.
Skutnik said he suspected Smith after asking his wife and other patrons to check the cash after Smith left the store.
"If he would have asked, I would have loaned him the money," said Skutnik, who added he considered Smith a friend.
Skutnik now uses a hand-held device that audibly identifies currency.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)