Acquaintance returns stolen purse, contents

A woman was robbed as she stood at a drive-in window waiting to pay a bill.



YOUNGSTOWN — Police said the victim of a purse snatching outside a store on Market Street got her purse and all of its contents back from an acquaintance of the woman accused of stealing the purse.

Police said the victim was standing outside a drive-through window at a market in the 2100 block of Market Street preparing to pay a bill shortly after 9 p.m. Monday when another woman, later identified as Salinda Sellers, 30, of Hudson Avenue, approached her and asked if it were possible to pay a bill at the window.

When the victim replied, “Yes,” Sellers grabbed her purse and ran to a car in the parking lot, police said.

The victim told police she saw Sellers dump the contents of the purse into the passenger’s seat and toss the purse on the ground. Sellers then got out of the car and ran down the street, the victim said.

Police said the driver of the car got out of the vehicle, picked up the purse, gathered up the contents from the front seat and gave everything back to the victim before driving away.

He came back while police were at the scene and handed the victim an envelope containing the money that had been in the victim’s purse, telling police that he had stopped at the store to buy cigarettes, had no involvement in the crime and ordered Sellers out of his car after witnessing her steal the purse.

Led to suspect

He said he and a second man in the car followed Sellers and made her give them the money taken from the purse so they could return it. He then led police to a home in the 600 block of West Ravenwood Avenue where Sellers was found hiding in a bedroom.

She was arrested on a robbery charge and spent the night in county jail. She was arraigned Tuesday and returned to jail on $50,000 bond.

Police said they arrested the occupant of the West Ravenwood Avenue house, Rapahel Day, 35, on a charge of obstructing official business. She had denied that anyone was in her house, police said, noting that Day had been in the car at the time of the purse theft.

Day was also arraigned Tuesday, and freed on her own recognizance.

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