St. Louis City firefighter charged with using crash victim’s debit card

The firefighter claimed he mistook the card for his wife’s in an interview with police.
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Published: May. 25, 2023 at 3:39 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office alleges a St. Louis firefighter took a victim’s wallet from a crash scene in February and used it for three purchases.

Arnold Britt, 40, of Ballwin, was charged with receiving stolen property, a felony, and fraudulent use of a credit or debit card, a misdemeanor. St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Charles Wall said Britt was not in custody as of Thursday afternoon, and no booking photo was available. SLMPD has not yet received a charging decision from the St. Louis City Circuit Attorney’s Office in connection to the incident, Wall said.

The crash related to the incident happened on February 26 at Forest Park Parkway and South Grand near SLU’s campus. Police say the driver of a Chevrolet Impala going south on Grand drove around stopped traffic and into the northbound lanes. The driver then ran a red light on South Grand and hit a Chevy Tahoe, causing the Tahoe to hit the bridge guardrail and fall off of the bridge, where it landed upside-down on Forest Park Parkway. Four people died and four others were injured.

A criminal complaint states one of the victims in the crash was waiting to go to the hospital when a man approached him, who he believed to be a police officer, and asked for identification. He gave the man his wallet but did not get it back before going to the hospital. He later found out his debit card was used after the incident by someone else and reported the theft two weeks after the crash.

The complaint goes on to say that body camera footage from first responders at the scene showed Britt taking the wallet from the crash victim. Britt told police in an interview that a police officer at the scene told him to set the wallet on the curb with the rest of the victim’s property, which he claimed he did.

The debit card was later used for purchases at a gas station, car wash, and convenience store in St. Louis County. Police allege surveillance video from the gas station and car wash showed Britt in those places when the purchases happened. It is unclear how much money was used for the purchases.

Britt told police during the interview that he mistook the victim’s debit card for his wife’s credit card from the same credit union. He said he did not realize he had the crash victim’s card until more than two weeks later when his wife found the card in his vehicle.

Britt told police that his wife threw away the card and that he didn’t realize it was the crash victim’s card until after his wife threw it away.

Cedric Dixon, 34, was charged in the deadly crash with involuntary manslaughter, armed criminal action, assault, and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.