Couple Charged In Dinosaur Replica Theft From State Museum

A Wake County couple have been charged with Monday's theft of a baby dinosaur replica from a state museum.

Logan Ritchey of Raleigh and Alyssa Lavacca of Holly Springs are charged with two counts of theft or destruction of property of public libraries, museums, both felonies.

State Capitol Police say the two turned themselves in Thursday morning after the state released surveillance video from inside the Museum of Natural Sciences.

In the video it shows a young man jumping over an exhibit barrier and taking a 12-14 inch replica. The man put it in the woman's purse.

Hours after the video was released, state officials say a man dropped off a bag near the rear service entrance of the museum, which contained the replica.

Another exhibit item from the Museum of History has also been recovered.

The two are both 21 years old. Ritchey was being held on a $2,000 secured bond, while Lavacca was released on an unsecured bond.

Police said releasing the video to the news media was instrumental in wrapping up this case.

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State Capitol Police are asking for the public's help in identifying the two dinosaur thieves who made off with the 12-14 inch replica from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

The replica is valued around $10,000.

Police say the theft happened Monday afternoon and the two were caught on a security camera. In the video you can see the man jump over an exhibit barrier in the Prehistoric North Carolina exhibit, take the polymer resin model, and put it in a large multi-colored purse which was carried by the woman.

The two are believed to be in their 20s, both with brown hair. He is about 5'7" tall and was wearing a dark gray T-shirt, white shorts with gray or green horizontal stripes, and black and white sneakers. The woman is about 5'6" tall, and was wearing a pink shirt, blue shorts and ankle-high boots.

The two are also suspects in a similar theft at the Museum of History, also on Monday.

Anyone with information should call State Capitol Police at 919-733-3333.