Middletown woman sentenced to prison for stealing purse of woman who gave her ride

Brittany K. Gaba

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Brittany K. Gaba

A Middletown woman was sentenced to 30 months in prison for robbing a female senior citizen of her purse in December.

Brittany K. Gaba, 32, was sentenced Thursday by Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Jennifer McElfresh. She was given credit for 151 days in jail and was told to pay $855 in restitution to the victim.

She faced a maximum of four years in prison.

Gaba was indicted in January by a Butler County grand jury for robbery and theft from a person in a protected class. The charges are felonies. In March, Gaba pleaded guilty to both charges in Butler County Common Pleas Court.

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Brittany K. Gaba, 32, of Middletown, was sentenced Thursday by Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Jennifer McElfresh. RICK McCRABB/STAFF

Brittany K. Gaba, 32, of Middletown, was sentenced Thursday by Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Jennifer McElfresh. RICK McCRABB/STAFF

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Brittany K. Gaba, 32, of Middletown, was sentenced Thursday by Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Jennifer McElfresh. RICK McCRABB/STAFF

McElfresh noted that Gaba has a lengthy history of criminal activity, including grand theft and ID fraud.

Her attorney, Dennis Adams, told the court that a week before the incident she buried her 6-month-old son and that “triggered” her to abuse zantax and alcohol.

She apologized to the victim, her family and the court.

“I was wrong,” Gaba said.

Middletown police responded on Dec. 4 to the 2800 block of Burbank Avenue and found the victim, a 72-year-old woman, sitting on the ground and hysterical, with visible marks and injuries to her face, police said.

She told officers she gave a woman she didn’t know a ride from Meijer to an apartment complex in the 2800 block of Burbank. The woman had a shopping bag from Meijer and trash bags filled with other items, the victim told police.

When they arrived at the apartment complex, the woman later identified as Gaba grabbed the victim’s purse and attempted to flee. During the struggle for the purse, the victim suffered minor injuries, and the suspect ran away, police said.

During the struggle for her purse, the woman lost her car keys, and her car was towed to her house in Lebanon.

Police found a Meijer receipt at the scene. They viewed surveillance footage from Meijer and identified the victim woman.

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