Male arrested after stealing a purse from vehicle

BEDFORD – A Paoli man was arrested after he allegedly broke into a car on May 26, 2020, and stole a woman’s purse.

Donald Brown

Police arrested 26-year-old Donald Brown, on a warrant on charges of theft and unauthorized entry to a vehicle.

According to a probable cause affidavit, a woman reported she parked her vehicle at the Milwaukee Trail entrance in Wilson Park around 6:40 p.m. and had her window cracked about a half an inch and her vehicle doors locked.

She told police she noticed three males walking from the trail to a vehicle as she entered the trail.

At approximately 8 p.m. when she returned to her vehicle she noticed the vehicle’s alarm light was flashing. She then noticed her purse was not in her vehicle. She returned home to make sure she had not left her purse there and didn’t find it. She then checked her checking account online and discovered several charges that she did not make – two totaling $212.93 at Walmart and one at McDonald’s for $9.18.

Bedford Police detectives contacted Walmart and obtained the security video that captured the same males that were seen at the trail in the store.

The males, including Brown, were captured using the card to make two purchases.

The woman reviewed the video and identified the males to be the same she had seen earlier at Wilson Park.

Police interview the males, two of which were juveniles. One of the males told police that Brown said the vehicle belonged to his grandmother and she owed him money. He told police Brown reached inside the partially open window and stole the purse and then drove away in Brown’s vehicle. 

The male reported Brown threatened that if he didn’t search the purse and render the found cash to him, Brown would leave him stranded in Bedford.

The three then went to Walmart. Brown made the other male juvenile purchase two cell phones. Brown later gave a cell phone to each juvenile.  

The three continued to Bloomington, stopping on 2 occasions to attempt to purchase gasoline with the stolen card. These transactions were unsuccessful.

Brown was interviewed on June 23, 2020 and admitted to stealing the purse.

The information was forwarded to the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s office and a warrant was issued for his arrests. The two juveniles were issued summons to appear in juvenile court on the charges.