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Couple is charged with theft

May 27, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD and ANDREW SCHOTZ

pepperb@herald-mail.com

andrews@herald-mail.com

A Williamsport couple stole purses from shopping carts at Wal-Mart on Garland Groh Boulevard in Hagerstown and used credit cards to obtain hundreds of dollars of merchandise from local stores, police alleged.

Washington County Sheriff's Department Investigator Greg Alton said Tracy Jeannie Green, 24, and her husband, Patrick Wayne Green, 31, both of 42 W. Potomac St., Apt. 1, Williamsport, were charged with felony theft.

The theft charge is related to the allegation that the couple illegally obtained more than $700 worth of merchandise with the credit cards, charging documents say. No other charges had been filed as of Wednesday.

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After more than a month of investigating about 15 reported purse snatchings at Wal-Mart, police obtained a warrant to search the Greens' home Monday afternoon, Alton said.

Charging documents allege that about $735 worth of merchandise purchased with the credit cards was recovered, including an air conditioner and power tools from Ollie's Bargain Outlet in Halfway, cigarettes from Sheetz in Williamsport, two VCRs from Target in Halfway and portable floor fans, bathroom accessories and videos from Kmart in Halfway.

Hagerstown Police Department Detective Jason Ackerman started the investigation because the thefts were in Hagerstown, but the sheriff's department got involved because stolen credit cards were used in stores outside the city, Alton said.

Both departments are still investigating, he said.

Charging documents say store surveillance tapes caught a man and a woman using the stolen credit cards.

On May 18, Ackerman saw two people at Washington County Circuit Court who resembled the people on the tapes and contacted them, charging documents say.

Three days later, Tracy Green's probation officer was shown the tapes and recognized Patrick and Tracy Green as the man and woman using the credit cards, charging documents allege.

The purses were taken from shopping carts at Wal-Mart in April and May while customers weren't paying attention, charging documents say.

Patrick Green was free on $5,000 bond and Tracy Green was free on $10,000 bond, a District Court commissioner said.

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