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Shoplifter gives brush-off to mayoral candidate Robinson

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pittsburgh mayoral candidate Carmen Robinson was campaigning outside a Bloomfield grocery store Tuesday when a 260-pound woman carrying ice cream, ranch dressing and razor blades rushed by.

"I tried to hand her some literature and she keeps going, and it was the first time that anyone has done that to me," said Robinson, 40, of the Hill District. Even if they're fans of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl or his other challenger, Councilman Patrick Dowd, "they still give me a chance to hear what I have to say."

Robinson, a former police sergeant, soon learned why the woman had no interest in chatting when Robinson briefly followed and tried to stop her.

Two employees of the ShurSave grocery store emerged about 2:05 p.m. to inform Robinson that she just had a brush with a shoplifter.

Robinson said she was "quite embarrassed" by the incident.

The woman fled in a car with $18.46 worth of groceries, said police spokeswoman Diane Richard.

"She apparently took some items up to the cash register and didn't have enough money to pay for them. She put them into a bag and left the store," Richard said.

The police report does not mention Robinson's involvement, Richard said.

Police described the shoplifter as black, in her 30s, and weighing about 260 pounds. She had a ponytail. A description of the car was not available.

Robinson is running against Ravenstahl and Dowd in the May 19 Democratic primary.

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