Pennsylvania couple charged in Timonium-area robberies

The two are accused of taking women's purses after asking for directions


A Pennsylvania couple who police say stopped several women in the Timonium area this week to ask directions, then snatched their purses and sped off in a Chevrolet Blazer have been arrested and charged in the robberies.

Shawn Ruby, 24, of the first block of Constitution Ave., New Freedom, Pa., and Jessica Lartz, 20, of the same address, were charged yesterday with several counts of assault, robbery and attempted robbery.

Police said the couple chose women in their 50s and 60s who were walking to their cars in shopping centers. They are accused of approaching them in Ruby's 1990 Chevy Blazer and speeding off after Lartz snatched their purses -- in one case dragging a woman 20 feet, police said.

Tuesday afternoon, Brenda Bowen, 62, of Towson was treated for minor injuries at St. Joseph Medical Center after she held on to her purse during a robbery and was dragged in the Mars Supermarket lot in the 1800 block of York Road, said Baltimore County Detective Tom Fanshaw.

Ruby and Lartz were charged in the robbery of Bowen, along with others Sunday afternoon in York County; Sunday night in the SuperFresh parking lot in the first block of W. Aylesbury Road; and Monday night in a restaurant parking lot in the first block of Timonium Road.

They also were charged with the attempted robbery of a woman Sunday evening at York Road and Galloway Avenue in Texas, Fanshaw said. In that incident, the woman held on to her purse until the strap snapped off, he said.

"In that case, all they got was the strap," Fanshaw said.

Police Chief Jim Childs, of the Southern Regional Police in York County, said detectives there have charged the couple in the robbery of a woman Sunday afternoon in the parking lot of a Shrewsbury shopping center.

Baltimore County police arrested Ruby after a victim reported his license plate number. He was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon after police stopped his vehicle, which was headed south on Interstate 83 near the Mount Carmel Road exit, Fanshaw said.

Lartz was arrested Wednesday at the Glen Rock, Pa., manufacturing plant where she worked, Childs said.

Ruby was being held yesterday at the Baltimore County Detention Center on $250,000 bail. Lartz was being held at the York County Prison on $100,000 bail, police said.

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