Convict charged in robbery of woman, 82, on Wal-Mart lot

June 28, 2000

A convicted purse-snatcher wanted for fleeing a work-release program has been arrested and charged in an attack reminiscent of his 1998 robbery of a woman on the parking lot of the Crain Highway Wal-Mart.

Jason P. Delucia, 30, formerly a resident of Bel Air, was charged in a warrant in the robbery of an 82-year-old woman June 15 on another Glen Burnie Wal-Mart parking lot, in the 6700 block of Chesapeake Center Drive.

Eleanora Smythe of Glen Burnie recalled yesterday how she was getting out of her car to buy groceries about 3:30 p.m. when a man grabbed the purse dangling from her shoulder - dragging her a short distance with her arm tangled in the strap - before fleeing with the purse in a pickup truck.

Smythe, who said she has sore knees and hands from the incident, was released after treatment at Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Informed that a suspect had been arrested, she said, "I hope God steps in and takes care of him, I really do."

Police said Delucia had been sought since failing to report to the Howard County Detention Center from his work-release job June 6. He was arrested June 19 after police found him at the Essex library in Baltimore County, and identified the next day through a photo lineup as a suspect in the parking-lot robbery of the elderly woman.

He was charged with robbery in a warrant issued Monday, police said.

Police said Delucia had been serving a sentence stemming from purse-snatchings in Howard and Anne Arundel counties, including the 1998 incident outside a Wal-Mart.

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