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UPDATE: Alleged ATM thief returns cash, not charged by police

Kingston police released security images of this woman, who they say stole cash left at an ATM by another person. Kingston police

Kingston police did not charge the woman who allegedly stole money left at a ATM because she returned the cash to police.

Kingston police say the woman allegedly took money from a drive-thru ATM in the west-end of the city on Oct. 4.

Police released security images of the woman on Oct. 24, asking for the public’s assistance to identify her.

READ MORE: Teeth whitening thief turns himself in: Kingston police

The story produced a social media debate, prompting some to ask why police were blasting the woman’s face across the internet for picking up “found money.”

Kingston police then updated their statement on their Facebook page, saying there was information withheld from the public that justified the charges.

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“The money was a substantial amount. It was not abandoned, but was left in error,” the Facebook post read.

Police say the victim left the money at the ATM while they were distracted by a passenger in their car.

“The suspect pulled up immediately after the victim and intentionally exited her vehicle to take the money without conducting any banking or attempting to return the money to the bank at any time,” the police post read.

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Police said the woman grabbed the money right before the passenger from the victim’s car ran back to the ATM to search for the cash they had just left at the machine.

“This is not abandoned property, it was left in error, and is considered lost property. Anyone who finds property should attempt to return to owner if identifiable and/or contact Kingston Police.”

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Despite those defending her actions over social media, police say the woman returned the cash on Oct. 26, two days after her image was released to the public.

Although she wasn’t charged, the investigating officer gave her a warning.

“In the end the suspect did the right thing by turning in the money that did not belong to her and the cash was returned to the victim.”

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