ALBANY -- An Albany Public Works employee's good deed inadvertently helped police catch a robbery suspect, officials say.
Sedrick Roundtree is a heavy equipment operator with the Albany Public Works department. Roundtree's boss, Public Works Director Phil Roberson, said Friday that Roundtree was cutting grass near the Albany Mall when he saw a wallet in the grass.
Roundtree gave the wallet to the Public Works secretary when he came in off his route. The secretary, Velma Hodges, attempted to locate the owner by calling the police department in the town listed on the driver's license.
Ultimately, it was discovered that the owner of the wallet had it snatched while in the Lee County Walmart. A debit card and driver's license were still in the wallet, and Lee County detectives were later able to use the wallet as evidence to help them apprehend a suspect, Roberson said.
On May 30, Roundtree was mowing along the Liberty Expressway in East Albany when he again spotted a wallet in the grass.
He again turned over the wallet, which had cash, credit cards and ID, to Hodges, who contacted the owner's wife. she promptly picked up the wallet from the Public Works office.
The woman said her husband had left his wallet on the back of his vehicle and it likely blew off as he was returning home from work at Procter & Gamble.
"I told him that I don't know that I've been more proud of any employee I've had in my 38 years in Public Works. What we look for is honesty and integrity, and this guy has it," Roberson said. "I guess the definition of integrity is how you act when someone isn't looking. He could've easily taken the items in those wallets, but he did the right thing."
Roberson said that Roundtree is the model employee and had already been named the employee of the month for May prior to the incidents.
"He personifies the ideals we look for and the character we look for in an employee," Roberson said. "He really restores your faith in the younger generation. It's nice to see employees doing the right thing."