ShareThis Page

Police: New Kensington woman and neighbors catch purse thief

Chuck Biedka
| Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, 4:48 p.m.
Luis Lema
Westmoreland County Prison
Luis Lema

A New Kensington woman and her neighbors weren't about to let a brazen thief make off with the woman's purse.

Instead, they chased the man from the woman's Fifth Avenue apartment, caught him and held him until police arrived.

Louis Lema, 27, who police say is homeless, was arrested Thursday and charged with burglary and theft.

District Judge Jason Buczak ordered Lema held in the Westmoreland County Prison in lieu of $100,000 bond pending a preliminary hearing.

The victim told police she was sitting on the couch inside her apartment at about 2 p.m. Thursday when the door to her apartment slowly opened. She said she saw a man take her purse from the kitchen table and start to leave.

That's when she and her neighbors pursued the man, still clutching the purse, from the apartment to Industrial Boulevard.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 5.

Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4711, cbiedka@tribweb.com or via Twitter @ChuckBiedka.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.