- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 30, 2014

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A Lincoln dentist has pleaded not guilty to stealing nearly $17,000 worth of precious metals from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Omaha.

Randall Toothaker appeared in federal court Wednesday and entered his plea.

Prosecutors say a lab technician reported seeing the 57-year-old dentist open a locked cabinet where precious metals used in dental procedures, including gold, were kept.

While VA officials investigated the missing metals, prosecutors say Toothaker tried to leave the property. Officers pulled him over and found the missing metals in a bag in his vehicle.

Toothaker told officers he didn’t know how the metals got into his bag.

Toothaker declined to comment to the Omaha World-Herald (http://bit.ly/1pGsQ1X ) after Wednesday’s court hearing.

___

Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com