New Castle News


December 5, 2012

Three charged with snatching purse

NEW CASTLE — Three charged in purse theft

Three men have been charged in the theft of an Ellport woman’s purse containing cash and prescription drugs.

Christopher Jay Magusiak, 20, and John Dakota Assalone, 21, both of Ellwood City, and Cameron Robert John Connifey, 22, of Beaver Falls, have been charged by Ellwood City police with robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property.

Magusiak was arraigned by District Judge Jerry G. Cartwright and is in the Lawrence County jail after failing to post $25,000 bond. He is also being held on $10,000 bond on an unrelated charge.

Warrants have been issued for Assalone and Connifey.

According to police, the theft occurred around 3 p.m. Oct. 8 at the woman’s apartment on Portersville Road. The woman told police the purse had been snatched off the kitchen table by the three suspects after her attention had been diverted by Magusiak, police said.

The purse contained $2,000 from a check she had just cashed, a prescription of 180 pills of Roxicodone, plus a change purse, identification cards and a checkbook.

Police said a witness saw two of the suspects entering a vehicle in the parking lot of the old Shad Hanna’s Restaurant. A third person was already in the vehicle, described as a blue Mitsubishi Eclipse. The witness provided police with a partial vehicle registration number.

Upon checking records, police determined Connifey owned the vehicle. On Nov. 23, police spoke to Magusiak who was arrested on unrelated charges. Magusiak said he and the other two men were at the apartment, but denied stealing the purse, police said.

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