ROSS TOWNSHIP, Pa. — An Ohio man is accused of stealing purses and using the stolen credit cards to primarily purchase gift cards at several businesses in Ross Township.
“I just bring a very small purse like this hanging on my arm,” Priscilla McCreary said. “Because I’m afraid to leave my purse in the basket and someone will take what’s in it.”
Priscilla McCreary knows her feelings are valid.
“It happens everywhere,” McCreary said. “Grocery stores. You just have to be aware of your surroundings.
On Sunday, a theft occurred at Target and Best Buy. Customers were not the target this time. Instead, the employees were. Security cameras recorded Angelo Dowdell, 24, entering Target, then removing a woman’s purse from a shopping cart. This woman worked in the electronics department. Over the phone, she told Channel 11 that within an hour, Dowdell racked up more than $4,000 in purchases at Kohl’s, Target and Giant Eagle on her four credit cards.
According to the criminal complaint, Dowdell was also seen entering Best Buy’s break room and exiting with a purse.
“Fortunately, I never experienced that,” McCreary said. “But it’s a scary situation.”
Using security cameras, plate readers and traffic cameras, Ross Township police found Dowdell getting into an SUV parked outside the Fine Wine and Good Spirits store in the same mall. They arrested him after he confessed and charged him with device fraud, theft and giving a false name to the police. Police also found gift cards and receipts in the vehicle.
Dowdell had several active warrants in Pennsylvania and Ohio, all for similar charges related to theft and falsely naming officers.
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