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Westmoreland Co. woman facing theft charges arrested after fleeing country


WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pa. - A Westmoreland County woman was arrested Saturday after fleeing the country prior to a court appearance in February 2011 for theft charges.

Patricia Keller, 64, of Hempfield, fled to Vancouver, British Columbia and failed to appear in court for allegedly stealing more than $217,000 from Tri County Occupational Medicine in Youngwood, where she had previously been employed.

Keller had been arrested for the theft in April 2010 and released after being placed on bond.

After fleeing to Vancouver, Keller traveled to Moscow and then to Dubai, where she was arrested in April after police there were notified she was in the city.

On Saturday, Keller was flown on a direct flight from Dubai to Washington, D.C., where she was taken into custody by federal and county law enforcement at Dulles International Airport in Virginia.

She is facing charges that include flight to avoid apprehension and trial, theft by unlawful taking and forgery.