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Veteran, 78, chases robbers who stole collection jar with $500

Published: Sun, July 31, 2011 @ 9:12 p.m.


Angelo Pappalardo




For Angelo T. Pappalardo, chasing down a would-be thief who stole a jug of money containing nearly $500 intended for needy veterans was no big deal.

Never mind that he’s nearly 80 years old – he wasn’t about to let that money be swiped.

“I did the best I could,” the humble Austintown man said. “I was just determined to get that money back because I know how badly the veterans need the help.”

Pappalardo, 78, is an Army veteran and for the past four years has collected donations for Veterans Outreach, a charitable organization that provides money to veterans for things like clothing, food, and eye glasses. Over the years, he says he has collected some $100,000 for the cause.

On Saturday, he was collecting outside Wal-mart on Mahoning Avenue in Austintown, one of his regular sites for collecting, when a woman walked past his table around noon, put her hand on the collection jug and wiggled it. When Pappalardo asked her to stop, she smiled and walked away.

About two hours later, the same woman came back, although Pappalardo said he didn’t recognize her at first. This time, she did more than wiggle the jug.

“She just ripped it right off the table and ran like a rabbit,” he said. “It happened so fast, I just never expected it.”

But even though Pappalardo was caught off guard, he didn’t hesitate to act. He got up from his seat and gave chase, yelling all the while for help and for someone to call the authorities. The woman who took the jug ran into a nearby woods and was soon caught by township police, while a passerby who’d heard Pappalardo’s cries for help caught another woman who was apparently an accomplice.

Pappalardo said the jug was bolted to the table, but that the table top was very thin, so the robber was able to simply rip it away.

Sgt. Mark Skoworn, Austintown police, said the women — Ayasha Cummings, 25, and Jasmine Jenkins — have been charged with aggravated robbery and complicity to aggravated robbery.

Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and at Vindy.com.


1jgm820(128 comments)posted 4 years ago

They seriously should have taken that jug and smacked them both upside the head with it. Talk about two pieces of pathetic TRASH.

I'm glad Mr. Pappalardo wasn't injured. He is STILL serving his country - I'll bet neither of those two have worked a day in their lives.

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2Dagwood(271 comments)posted 4 years ago

Why did these two patriotic and society contributing girls need the money? They get free food, free housing, free health care, free child care, paid 365 day vacation. Would not surprise me if they found stolen merchandise from the store on them as well. Why does this country continue to provide for this garbage-->1 guess who they voted for last prez election.

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3bmanresident(605 comments)posted 4 years ago

Well this is a great ending to a disturbing story, but one that is not uncommon in the Valley, especially around Wal-Mart stores. Wal-marts attract these gutter wenches as a playground attracts children. Good for this brave Vet, continue doing what you're doin!

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4VINDYAK(1824 comments)posted 4 years ago

My compliments to a fellow Army vet...good job. She was lucky he didn't have his Garand M-1.

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5UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 4 years ago

You know both of these women are "Hoodrats" from Youngstown. Their criminal court records tell all. They lack any form of moral values. It's good to see them sitting in jail this morning.

tomjoseph - "ghetto monkeys"? Ha Ha Ha

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6LtMacGowan(689 comments)posted 4 years ago

I am one of Angelo's Grandson. I cant tell you that my grandfather is truly one of the most honorable men I've ever met. He would literally give the shirt off his back to help a person in need.

Even now he wishes no ill will towards the 2 women that tried to rob them he said he only wishes they get the help they need and straighten their lives around.

I could go on and on about all the wonderful things he s done but it would just embarrass him. He was hesitant to even talk to the reporters because he felt he hadn't done anything special and that the 2 good Samaritans that helped him were the real heroes.

Speaking of that, all 3 of the local networks said they d be interested in doing a piece where they re unite my grandfather with the other 2 men at the Austintown wal-mart, however we do not know the names of these men. If anyone here can help us reunite these good men it would be a wonderful thing.

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7Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years ago

In the past you would be arrested for any attempted recovery from the oppressed . They have their rights . Angelo gave chase without any thought given to the legal ramifications .

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8LtMacGowan(689 comments)posted 4 years ago

Ugh never post something before having your morning coffee. Please allow me to correct. "one of his Grandson's" and "I CAN tell you"

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9Lifes2Short(3879 comments)posted 4 years ago

What a pitiful sorry excuse of worthless trash these 2 are. Nothing but animals pure and simple. Stealing a collection jar for veterans. That has to be one of the lowest forms of human waste to do something like that.
Kudos to Andy and the 2 great citizens that helped capture these animals. I can just picture these animals running and being trapped. Sorry a$$ DNA.

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10LtMacGowan(689 comments)posted 4 years ago

Heres the kicker, I asked my grandfather if the woman said anything while they were waiting for the police. His answer was "Nothing at all, she just smiled at me"

Perhaps you fellows can help me out on another matter. I'm stumped trying to find a way to honor my grandfather for what he did. Not the whole robbery thing but his countless efforts in collecting for the veteran's. I can tell you there have been mornings when it was blazing hot or ice cold, and a lot of the time my grandpa is in a lot of pain from a neck surgery yet he goes out every time to collect . He told me that "Any time I stay home and I am not out there. That's just one more hungry veteran that goes with out."

See? How does one pay homage to a man like that?

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11Fred(131 comments)posted 4 years ago

Are there going to be any assault charges against those who tackled the babes?

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12walter_sobchak(2209 comments)posted 4 years ago


Your grandfather is a great man and a good American, both of which are in a dwindling short supply. He recognizes that, individually, we have personal duty to make this country a better place for all by being honest (following the law) and hard-working (not being a leech). If we do this individually, then collectively the problems of our great nation are easy to handle. Unfortunately, what we have here are two leeches that only want the easy way through life by taking things that are not theirs and providing no value to the nation as a whole.

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13mrblue(1136 comments)posted 4 years ago

I am an Army vet and I applaud Mr.Pappalardo for his efforts. He is a man a family can be proud of. Now----about those two pieces of human waste------the judge should throw the book at you. What a wonderful example you have set for your kids----assuming you have kids. If you two are on any type of government assistance, you should lose it.

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14lovedrama(138 comments)posted 4 years ago

We could have a huge picnic in his honor, collect money for the vets, have everyone bring a dish, get some music, and honor him with a nice community gathering while continuing to raise cash for his causes. That would be nice.

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15LtMacGowan(689 comments)posted 4 years ago

I like your idea!! How many others would be willing to attend a surprise picnic? We could all bring plates and donate to help the veteran's

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16whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 4 years ago

picnic sounds great Mill Creek Park? set a date and time.................. 50/50 raffle, chinese auction.

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17LtMacGowan(689 comments)posted 4 years ago

I contacted Elise Franco a reporter for The Vindicator with the idea of having some kind of Veteran's appreciation day, and having various charities there and all the trimmings.

My Grandfather Angelo is very much enthusiastic about possibly making an even bigger contribution to the Veteran's this way.

Hopefully we can contribute even more to help those who protect our freedoms.

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18Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years ago

" Ayasha Cummings, 25, and Jasmine Jenkins — have been charged with aggravated robbery and complicity to aggravated robbery."

Both are still in the slammer . . .. They have been trying to raise bail but to no avail .


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19LtMacGowan(689 comments)posted 4 years ago

Does it say the next time they are due in court? I'd really like to be there when they are, Stan.

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20janeyblue(227 comments)posted 4 years ago

Maybe the crack ho's and hoodrats will realize that the good people of Austintown and Walmart will not tolerate these things.
I salute you Mr. Pappalardo for all that you do. I am positive we have spoken a few times at Walmart.
To the citizens who gave chase...thank you for keeping us a bit safer.
And to the crack ho's,shame on you. Rot in jail. You should have your ovaries ripped out with vice grips so you can not reproduce anymore pieces of crap like you. Karma will be in your future. You are sickening. I well and truly hope you lost a few teeth when you were "restrained". Stay in da hood. We do not want you or your offspring here.Or your sisters and brothers.

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21Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years ago

LtMacGowan :

"Does it say the next time they are due in court? I'd really like to be there when they are, Stan.


They already had their bail hearing and bail was set at $100,000 . The next step is for their public defender to plea bargain them out . Too many witnesses for them to go with a trial .

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22cambridge(3334 comments)posted 4 years ago

Seeing the kind of man Angelo is I think some kind of recognition maybe at the local minor league baseball game would be in order and it would give those in attendance a chance to contribute to his favorite cause.

Angelo, you da man!

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23Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years ago

Pictures in orange . . ..


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24TuscanyGirl(1 comment)posted 4 years ago

lol this story certainly gave my friend and I a good laugh for the day; we are still laughing at these 2 crack hoes and their hilarious antics. God Bless Mr.Pappalardo; he obviously is an angel. As for these 2 serious losers I can see a reality show providing hours of stupid attempts, scenario's and bumbling foolishness being played out by the 2 of them lol. I mean how stupid can they be? Check out Courtview for their rap sheets...wow lol...kidnap chgs, dom. violence, on and on. What does their family think of them? Any relatives out there that can comment on their behavior? If it weren't for the blacks around here making headlines we would have no news, that's for sure.

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25paulydel(1461 comments)posted 4 years ago

In jail is where they belong and I hope the judge gives them the maximum jail time and fine. They deserve everything they get. If I was the judge I'd also asign them community service in a veterans home for 1 year supervised of coarse.

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26lovedrama(138 comments)posted 4 years ago

I would come to the picnic and will save some money to contribute to the cause for the veterans. I will be checking to see if there's any news about it. Is anyone organizing it? It could be at one of the pavilions in the park and maybe they would donate it? Maybe get the vindy to do an article so we don't lose sight of this and can all pull together for a positive cause. We can all then be proud of of efforts and Mr. P can also be proud of all of the support and recognition he gets for being a great man.

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27Rockabilly(93 comments)posted 4 years ago

@cambridge and lovedrama
Great ideas. I think it would be fun and would be a great way to say thanks for his life long service.

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28Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years ago

"On Saturday, he was collecting outside Wal-mart on Mahoning Avenue in Austintown, one of his regular sites for collecting, when a woman walked past his table around noon, put her hand on the collection jug and wiggled it. When Pappalardo asked her to stop, she smiled and walked away."

Misunderstood children of tha hood . She was just out for tha day to find friends and play . When she flashed Pappalardo that big smile which said be my friend she was rebuffed upon returning when he refused to share and made a scene .Traumatized,rejected then jailed has been earth shattering to this fun loving girl and her companion who also was incarcerated . The damage caused here may never be undone . With incarceration, social workers, psychologists and medication the cost to society will be far above the money that was contained in the jar that she wanted to share . We as a society need to re-evaluated our priorities and show more love toward the children of the hood . Restoring freedom to these two girls will be the top priority of their public defender . He will have to deal with their now bitterness toward society and build trust with them . It wont be easy . Compassion for their plight will have to be instilled upon the prosecution to set the release in motion . Once the deal has been struck they will be free once again . By now their home in the hood will have been plundered and they will have a tremendous task ahead of them rebuilding their lives .

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29Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

The babes are still being held at county .


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30AngeloTPappalardo(5 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

I think that's rather funny since my grandfather voted for Obama.

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31southsidedave(5076 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago


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