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Couple surrenders to police in Raleigh museum dinosaur model theft

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Two suspects in the theft of a dinosaur model from the Museum of Natural Sciences voluntarily turned themselves in Thursday.

Logan Todd Ritchey, 21, of Raleigh, and Alyssa Ann Lavacca, 21, of Holly Springs, surrendered to North Carolina State Capitol Police following the theft Monday, the Department of Public Safety said.

Ritchey and Lavacca face charges related to the theft of a polymer resin model of an Edmontosaurus (duck-billed) hatchling. The model is about 12 to 14 inches long and worth about $10,000.

Police say they also took fake cabbage, lettuce, doilies and an antique medicine bottle from the North Carolina Museum of History on the same day. The items combined were worth less than $1,000.

"I doubt these two individuals realized the seriousness of tampering with artifacts and exhibits in a public museum," State Capitol Police Chief Glen Allen said. "The dissemination of the security camera video of this incident by the news media was instrumental in bringing this case to fruition."

Ritchey and Lavacca are both charged with two counts felony theft or destruction of property of public libraries, museums, etc, authorities said.

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