Food drive volunteer in Westmoreland County has purse stolen |
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Paul Peirce

Kay Rumbaugh of Fayette County said she felt sick to her stomach after she turned around during a charity food drive Nov. 14 at the Wal-Mart in East Huntingdon and discovered her purse was missing — along with $400 collected for the drive and personal credit cards.

“It was just a horrible feeling. Honestly, I don’t understand how people can do such things,” said Rumbaugh, 74, of Dawson.

State police at Greensburg are seeking information to locate suspects in the theft and subsequent forgeries involving Rumbaugh’s credit cards.

“We believe five total people — who may not even know each other — were involved,” Trooper Steve Limani said.

About 6:45 p.m., Rumbaugh was working her seventh hour collecting donations for the Connellsville Area Community Ministries, which serves residents of Fayette and Westmoreland counties.

“Two women had picked up one of our fliers that contains a list of items that they can go in the store and buy that will be donated to the ministries, and they had some questions about the charity,” Rumbaugh said.

Rumbaugh said she left her purse on a bench as she went over to explain the collection “for a few minutes.”

“When I turned around and went back, it was gone. I carried all my personal belongings in here. … I was literally sick to my stomach,” she said.

Surveillance video from the store shows a white male with a red coat and baseball cap and a white woman wearing a blue coat remove the purse from the bench and enter the store. Both were between ages 30 and 40. The woman is thin, the male is stocky.

Rumbaugh said she had $400 in personal cash in the purse.

“I want people who donated to know that I kept the money they donated to the charity separate in my pocket, and it was not stolen,” she said.

Limani said the two thieves dumped the purse inside Wal-Mart.

Shortly afterward, two different white males used Rumbaugh’s credit card at the nearby Tractor Supply store for a $340 shopping spree.

“Then, a short time later, another white male … used a credit card to buy $50 worth of gasoline and ($32 in) cigarettes at the Get-Go service station” in East Huntingdon, Limani said.

“We are asking anyone with information on any of the thieves to contact us,” Limani said.

Anyone with information can call police at 724-832-3288.

Paul Peirce is a reporter for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at [email protected] or 724-850-2860.

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