Pa. man pleads guilty in purse snatchings

One victim was dragged across parking lot

October 17, 2002|By Stephanie Hanes | Stephanie Hanes,SUN STAFF

A Pennsylvania man pleaded guilty in Baltimore County Circuit Court yesterday to a series of Timonium-area purse snatchings in May, including one that sent a 61-year-old woman to the hospital.

Shawn C. Ruby, 24, and Jessica L. Lartz, 20, both from New Freedom, Pa., robbed three women in their late 50s and early 60s last spring to get money for heroin, prosecutors said in court yesterday.

Each time, police said, the couple stopped their victim to ask for directions, then grabbed her purse and sped off in their Chevrolet Blazer.

In one robbery, prosecutors said, a woman was dragged 20 feet across a supermarket parking lot before she was able to untangle herself from her purse's shoulder strap.

Brenda Bowen of Towson suffered three cracked ribs from that robbery, as well as head lacerations that required seven stitches, prosecutors said.

Ruby, who faced 12 robbery, theft and assault charges, pleaded guilty yesterday to two counts of robbery and one count of attempted robbery. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for the first week of December.

Lartz's case is in Baltimore County District Court.

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