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Pair arrested in robbery of Westmoreland County prosecutor

| Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

A man and woman were arrested on Friday in connection with a bizarre chain of events that began with a purse snatching in Hempfield the day before and ended on a downtown Jeannette sidewalk.

The couple allegedly delivered a shipment of soft drink to Cristiano's Pizzeria on Clay Avenue that a shop employee said he hadn't ordered. They then demanded to be paid. Just then, state police swarmed into the store and arrested them.

Police believe the suspects were involved in a robbery on Thursday at the Giant Eagle in Hempfield, according to Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck.

The suspects are accused of grabbing a purse from Assistant District Attorney Barbara Jollie, who was in the supermarket on her lunch hour after attending a hearing in Jeannette. Peck said she suffered minor injuries and was treated at Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg.

Hempfield District Judge James Falcon on Thursday issued an arrest warrant for Autumn Walsh of Hutchinson, Sewickley Township, for robbery, simple assault and harassment in connection with the Hempfield purse snatching, according to court records.

Police did not release the names of the people taken into custody on Friday.

Peck said state police believe the suspects may have been involved in another mugging at the Giant Eagle in Murrysville that is under investigation.

Andrew Sinchar, who manages Sunny's Fashions near the pizza shop, said police were on the scene quickly.

“It was seconds,” Sinchar said. “Police went in and came out. The whole place was crawling with police.”

The suspects sat handcuffed on the sidewalk until a state trooper took them to the Greensburg barracks for processing.

Richard Gazarik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6292 or rgazarik@tribweb.com

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