Former policeman and mayor of Davenport Pat Gibbs pleaded guilty Friday, July 27 to felony theft, after being caught red-handed on tape pocketing cash at the pawn shop where he worked.
Gibbs, who is also a former Scott County, Iowa commissioner, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree theft.
Gibbs worked at the Del Rich Pawn Shop in downtown Davenport. He admitted in court to creating fraudulent receipts and phony customers, and forging their signatures, then pocketing the money from the bogus transactions.
Store owners say they reviewed three months worth of in-store surveillance video and caught Gibbs waiting until he was alone in the store, and pocketing the cash, over and over again.
"We probably have it on video about 50 times," said Mary Hatfield, one of the owners of Del Rich Pawn Shop.
"We can prove he took about $9,700. That's what we can prove. He worked here about a year-and-a-half, and we only have three months worth of surveillance video," Hatfield said.
"I was not surprised, I was shocked. He was a nice guy. You know, a mayor, a police officer," Hatfield said.
Walking out of court, Gibbs said, "It's been a rough two years," referencing health, personal problems and losses, including the suicide of his son after returning from Iraq.
"Things just spiraled downward for him. I feel bad for him, I feel bad for his family. They're going through a tough time now," said family friend Donald Stevens Jr.
But the pawn shop owners say that's no excuse for stealing, and say they believe there is thousands more missing.
Gibbs faces up to five years in prison, but the store owners aren't pushing for hard time. They just want a felony on his record, and to be paid back when he's sentenced in September.