LEMON TWP., Ohio — A man chased down by a Good Samaritan in the parking lot of Kroger after a purse snatching has pleaded guilty to felony theft.
Derek Vaughn, 58, was indicted in January by a Butler County grand jury for robbery and theft from a person in a protected class.
On Monday, Vaughn pleaded guilty in Butler County Common Pleas Court to fifth-degree felony theft. The remaining charges were dismissed. He faces a maximum of 12 months behind bars.
Butler County sheriff’s deputies and Trenton police officers responded shortly after 11 a.m. Dec. 5 to Kroger on Oxford State Road for the report of a man snatching the purse from an elderly woman inside the store.
Trenton resident Patricia Goins, 87, was shopping when Vaughn allegedly took her purse and ran.
Deshawn Pressley 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. Pressley and others 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. Pressley was treated for hand injuries. The purse was returned to Goins.
Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said further investigation indicated the purse was stolen from the cart of the victim and not while she had possession of it. So the original robbery was not supported by the evidence.
“This is a good example of how we correct things through a correct plea. The defendant was ultimately convicted of the conduct that he committed, a theft offense against an elderly woman,” Gmoser said.
Judge Greg Stephens set sentencing for April 8. Vaughn, who has been in the Butler County Jail since his arrest, was released on his own recognizance with supervision by pre-trial services until the sentencing.