Footprints lead to Brownsville theft suspect
Police in Fayette County followed footprints in the snow to identify a man accused in a purse snatching.
Thomas Allen Drake, 24, of 610 South Hills Terrace, Brownsville, is charged by borough police with robbery, theft, receiving stolen property, simple assault and terroristic threats.
In a criminal complaint, police said a 56-year-old woman told them she was robbed of her purse at knife-point while standing at the entrance to the South Hills Terrace housing complex at 9:36 p.m. Monday. The woman said the masked man grabbed her, fought with her, knocked her down, took her purse and ran toward the apartment complex.
Police followed footprints to an apartment. When they knocked on the door, an occupant opened it and an officer noticed a pair of wet shoes. The tread pattern matched those of the snowy footprints, according to the complaint.
Police searched the apartment with one of the occupant's consent, where they found gloves and a ski mask on steps leading upstairs. Drake was in an upstairs room.
Officers found additional footprints outside behind the apartment with the same tread pattern as those at the robbery scene. They followed them to a wooded area, where they recovered the victim's purse, police said.
The victim was able to identify Drake as the accused robber, police said. Drake initially denied involvement to police, then admitted to taking the purse.
Drake was arraigned before South Union District Judge Joseph George Jr. and placed in the Fayette County Prison in lieu of $50,000 bond. He faces a preliminary hearing on Feb. 12 before Redstone District Judge Mike Defino Jr.
Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Fire heavily damages Connellsville home
- 2 dead in Bullskin crash
- Connellsville Area High School’s marching band to play national anthem at PNC Park
- 500 Brownsville elementary students to get backpacks, supplies
- Purchase paves the way for razing of Connellsville building
- Late Frazier superintendent’s vision of new school nearly a reality
- Agriculture chief touts local products in Fayette County visit
- Connellsville man accepts plea in break-ins
- Pedestrian killed after he was struck by SUV on Route 51
- Lemont Furnace couple seeks reversal of zoning permit
- Police: Former Fayette attorney who took drugs to jailed client apparently overdosed