Michael Mabe and his mom, Linda, first met former Texas City police officer Linnard R. Crouch at the emergency room the night their father and husband, James, died of heart failure.
He had something for them, a little clear plastic baggie full of James’s belongings that Crouch found at the scene where Mabe’s heart went out behind the wheel of his pickup truck, on the side of a busy road in Texas City. Crouch had brought James’s cellphone, his wallet and a stack of money with a single $100 bill on top.
Mrs. Mabe and I thanked Officer Crouch for helping our loved one,” Michael wrote in a letter to Texas City Police Chief Robert Burby in February — before launching into the rest of the narrative: Later that night, when Linda opened the bag, she discovered that the $2,400 she had just given him at her office one hour earlier was missing, and that instead, the money had been replaced with single dollar bills. Turns out, Officer Crouch is now under investigation for stealing it and has been sued by the Mabe family.