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Woman guilty of summer purse thefts

Wednesday, April 03, 2013 - Updated: 4:10 PM

By HEATHER NELLIS

Recorder News Staff

FONDA — A Broadalbin woman pleaded guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny Monday at Montgomery County Court in connection with a string of purse thefts at local businesses last summer.

Roxanne M. Sharp, 49, of 5137 Crooked St., was indicted Feb. 28 for snatching purses out of the grocery carts of unsuspecting elderly women on six different occasions — May 24, June 16, two on July 11, and July 12 and 13.

Officials in the office of District Attorney James E. “Jed” Conboy said Sharp’s plea bargain included a single count instead of six.

When sentenced May 22, Sharp faces between 1.75 to four years of prison, and restitution on all six counts.

Officials said total restitution was not immediately available, because the Probation Department has to reach out to each victim to determine the worth of each purse, and its contents.

For example, officials said, one of them was a Coach purse.

Sharp was arrested July 13 after a week’s worth of complaints. Police said she targeted elderly females whose purses were momentarily unattended in shopping carts at businesses on Route 30 in the town of Amsterdam.

Days after her arrest, the sheriff’s office was notified about a plastic bag of empty wallets and cell phones buried at the Sharp’s home that was found by a relative, and two additional complaints were filed with the department about people victimized under similar circumstances.

An investigator said those two victims confronted Sharp while in the act of stealing their purses, and were able to recover their property.

The investigation was conducted in cooperation with State Police and the Saratoga County Sheriff's Office, which received complaints for similar cases.

Published reports say Sharp was charged with petit larceny by state police in Saratoga County June 16.

     

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