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Woman arrested in Cambria County purse thefts

Police say elderly women targeted in thefts

By Marc Stempka

CAMBRIA TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A Cambria County woman was arrested for allegedly snatching purses and stealing their contents in communities across the county.

Cambria Township police said Robin Hamilton was arrested Sunday night after being caught stealing a womans purse at the Ebensburg Walmart.

Police said Hamilton targeted elderly women at grocery stores and gas stations in the Ebensburg and Richland Township areas by stealing their purses or wallets or taking the contents inside their purses.

[Hamilton will] take that and shell go into the bathroom or shell go out to the parking lot and she will take the money and the credit cards and shell dump everything else, Cambria Township police Officer Andy Intihar said.

Cambria Township police investigated four similar incidents in one day last week, and Richland Township police reported the same type of thefts in their area that same week.

Officials said it was believed Hamilton may have been committing the thefts to support a drug habit.

Unfortunately the elderly are going to be targeted in this and thats just one of those things where its unfortunate, Intihar said. But its the drugs in the area and thats what it comes down to.

Police said Hamilton has been in trouble with the law before, stemming from incidents in Florida.

Her criminal history just revolved around identity theft, stealing of monies and credit cards and things of that nature, Intihar said.

Hamilton allegedly targeted women at the Ebensburg Walmart, the Ebensburg Get Go convenience store and the Richland Township Giant Eagle, police said.

Police said it is important for people who are shopping to be aware of their surroundings and keep their purses or wallets close to their body.

Additional charges were pending against Hamilton in other theft cases, police said. Hamilton was placed in the Cambria County jail.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times