Woman shopping inside Kroger has purse snatched; Middletown man arrested

Derek A. Vaughn, 58, was charged with robbery, a third-degree felony and theft.

Credit: Submitted photo

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Derek A. Vaughn, 58, was charged with robbery, a third-degree felony and theft.

Credit: Submitted photo

Suspect charged with robbery after allegedly taking 87-year-old woman’s purse

A Middletown man is behind bars charged with robbing an elderly woman Sunday morning after a citizen stopped the suspect in a Lemon Twp. store parking lot.

Shortly after 11 a.m., Butler County Sheriff’s deputies and Trenton police officers responded to Kroger on Oxford State Road for the report of a man snatching the purse from an elderly woman inside the store.

The suspect, Derek A. Vaughn, 58, was charged with robbery, a third-degree felony and theft — a fifth-degree felony because of the victim’s age.

The 87-year-old woman was shopping when Vaughn allegedly took her purse and ran.

A witness said he heard someone yell “stop that man” and saw a man running from the store with the purse under his arm, according to the report. The witness and an unnamed citizen attempted to keep the suspect, identified as Vaughn, from getting in a vehicle and a physical altercation ensued as they wrestled with the suspect.

When officers arrived, Vaughn was taken into custody without further incident. The witness was treated for hand injuries. The victim was evaluated by paramedics at the scene and her purse was returned to her.

Vaughn was booked into the Middletown City Jail and is scheduled to be arraigned in Middletown Municipal Court today, Dec. 6.

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones thanked the 27-year-old man for his help in catching the suspect. Jones said he is always pleased when someone who preys on the elderly is caught, and even prouder of civilians who step up and intervene when citizens need help.

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