Couple charged with robbery in Niles


A man and woman from Girard are each facing possible jail sentences after being charged with aggravated robbery in an incident at Macali’s Giant Eagle on Vienna Avenue.

Emily Preece, 37, and Robert J. Kwiecinski, 35, both of South Davis Street, were charged with aggravated robbery after their arrest at about 6:27 p.m. Monday. Both were arraigned in Niles Municipal Court Tuesday, and bond of $10,000 each was set. Kwiecinski also has an address on Madison Street in Campbell.

The incident began with a purse snatching — a customer said she saw a woman later identified as Preece walking down an aisle in the store with her purse while she was at the meat counter. The purse had been in her grocery cart.

She told employees about it, and three employees began chasing the woman through the store and into the parking lot, where she got into a car.

But the driver, later identified as Kwiecincski, revved up the motor and backed up toward two of the workers, nearly hitting them, they said.

A bystander unsuccessfully tried to take the keys out of the ignition, they said.

A Niles police officer, hearing a call about the fleeing vehicle spotted it on Robbins Avene heading east and made a stop in the McDonald’s parking lot in McKinley Heights.

The officer found a purse in the vehicle matching the one reported stolen. If convicted, Preece and Kwiecinski could get 10 years in prison.

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