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Hearing for Strattanville Man Accused of Swiping Woman’s Wallet While Patronizing Local Club Set for Tuesday

Saturday, March 16, 2019 @ 12:03 AM

Posted by Joanne Bauer

gavel-cuffsCLARION, Pa. (EYT) – A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday for a Strattanville man who allegedly stole a woman’s wallet while they were at a Clarion club.

According to court documents, a preliminary hearing is scheduled for 63-year-old Ronald Cecil Smith, of Strattanville, at 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday, March 19, in front of Magisterial District Judge Duane L. Quinn.

Smith faces the following charges:

– Theft By Unlawful Taking-Movable Property, Misdemeanor 2
– Receiving Stolen Property, Misdemeanor 2

He is currently free on $5,000.00 unsecured bail.

The charges stem from an incident that occurred at a local club on Monday, February 25.

Details of the case:

Around 2:15 p.m., Clarion County 9-1-1 dispatched Clarion Borough Police Officer Zerfoss to the club for a theft, with a possible suspect still on the scene.

According to a criminal complaint, when Officer Zerfoss arrived at the scene, he spoke to a known victim who stated that her wallet was stolen from her purse. The wallet was roughly the same size as a credit card and can hold several cards, as well as cash. The woman stated that she left the club around 1:15 p.m., and when she arrived home, she realized her wallet was missing. She said that she had it at the bar, and she hadn’t stopped anywhere between the bar and home.

She also indicated that she was sitting at a table with a known man, and Ronald Smith was sitting behind her. She named eight other patrons in the bar at that time, but they were on the other side.

She stated that she had $200.00 cash in the wallet and that before leaving, she used the restroom and had left her purse at the table.

When the victim discovered that her wallet was missing, she returned to the bar, and she and other patrons searched the area extensively, including the garbage cans, bathrooms, the floor, and behind various items throughout the club, but it was not found.

The victim said that Smith helped search for the wallet, but “his demeanor changed to nervousness when she announced she was calling the police,” according to the complaint.

While Officer Zerfoss was talking to the victim, Officer Wright advised that “Smith was acting nervous.” The officers approached Smith and asked to chat with him, and he did so willingly. The officers and Smith walked to the rear corner of the bar out of the sight of the patrons, and the officers asked him about the wallet. He denied taking it and said that he helped look for it, the complaint states.

He willingly turned out all of his pockets. He had $17.00 cash and a few various items. Officer Wright asked Smith if they could check his coat, and Smith walked around the corner and retrieved it. Smith turned out the pockets, and the wallet was not found.

While Officer Zerfoss was thanking Smith for his cooperation, Officer Wright turned and walked back to the office. A few seconds later, Wright called to Officer Zerfoss and pointed to a green wallet on the floor under the seat next to where Smith was sitting.

Officer Zerfoss returned the wallet to the victim.

Wright obtained Smith’s information, but Smith continued to deny having the wallet or throwing it on the floor.

Officer Zerfoss told the victim where the wallet was found, and she, a patron, and the bar manager said they searched the floor extensively and the wallet was not on the floor. The victim checked her wallet and was missing $60.00.

Officer Zerfoss advised the victim that based on the circumstances, there was enough information to file theft charges against Smith if she wished, and she asked that he do so, according to the complaint.

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