The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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July 30, 2013

Purse snatching suspect charged

EBENSBURG — A Johnstown woman accused of snatching a senior citizen’s purse in the parking lot of a Lower Yoder Township store was apprehended three days later, police said.

The woman whose purse was stolen is believed to be about 80 years old and was badly shaken by the incident, West Hills Regional police said.

She was pushing a shopping cart as she left Valu King on Minno Drive shortly after 4 p.m. Friday. As she opened the trunk of her vehicle, another woman driving a Jeep pulled alongside. The driver got out, snatched the older woman’s purse from the shopping cart, jumped back into the Jeep and fled, police said.

The purse contained credit cards, a cellphone and $30 in cash, police said.

Witnesses gave officers a description of the robber and the getaway vehicle.

The woman who was robbed was so upset she needed to rest against her vehicle but refused medical treatment, police said.

Police identified the suspect as Vicki Lee Hayostek, 37, of D Street. She was arrested on Monday after she was spotted again in the store parking lot.

Hayostek returned in the same vehicle but this time with a man sitting in the passenger seat, police said. The Jeep was gone when officers arrived.

Officers later found the pair sitting in the Jeep in the Giant Eagle parking lot on Goucher Street.

Police said Hayostek admitted to the robbery and told officers she threw the purse in a Dumpster.

Hayostek was arraigned Tuesday by on-call District Judge Leonard Grecek of Roxbury on charges of robbery, theft, receiving stolen property and tampering with physical evidence.

She was sent to the Cambria County Prison after failing to post 10 percent of $10,000 bond.

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