Pair charged in string of Hempfield Twp. purse snatchings

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HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Police have charged two people in a recent string of purse snatchings in Hempfield Township.

The robberies occurred between July 23 and Aug. 7 in various locations of Hempfield Township, including the sidewalk areas near or behind Westmoreland Mall, Giant Eagle in Hempfield Square and Greengate Center Circle, police said.

Four women were targeted.

In three of the four incidents, a male suspect forcefully took the purses from the victims, police said. During the fourth incident, a female suspect unsuccessfully tried to take a woman’s purse.

Two of the women who were targeted attempted to retain their purses, police said. One woman was successful in doing so, but the second woman was unable to retain her purse and suffered moderate injuries.

On Thursday, Westmoreland County Assistant District Attorney Barb Jollie was robbed of her purse. The veteran prosecutor was injured in the scuffle, police said.

Autumn Walsh, 32, and Jason Price, 38, were taken into custody in Jeannette and charged for their alleged involvement in the robberies, police said.

Walsh is charged with one count each of robbery, simple assault and harassment.

Price is charged with criminal conspiracy-robbery.

Police continue to investigate.

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