Man, woman face robbery charges for separate purse snatchings

Two people accused of victimizing senior citizens by snatching purses last month in the Middletown area are facing robbery charges, according to court records.

Derek Vaughn, 58, and Brittany Gaba, 32, were indicted Friday by a Butler County grand jury for robbery and theft from a person in a protected class for separate incidents that happened one day apart. The charges are felonies.

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.

ExploreKroger shopper who stopped purse theft recounts incident

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.

Vaughn is housed in the Butler County Jail in lieu of $55,000 bond.

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

ExploreMan who chased down alleged purse snatcher honored by Butler Co. Sheriff, victim

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 alleged 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 eventually ran away, police said.

Combined ShapeCaption
Brittany Gaba, 33, of Middletown, was charged with robbery today after she allegedly stole a woman's purse Saturday. MIDDLETOWN POLICE

Brittany Gaba, 33, of Middletown, was charged with robbery today after she allegedly stole a woman's purse Saturday. MIDDLETOWN POLICE

Combined ShapeCaption
Brittany Gaba, 33, of Middletown, was charged with robbery today after she allegedly stole a woman's purse Saturday. MIDDLETOWN POLICE

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 were able to identify the woman.

Gaba also is housed in the Butler County Jail in lieu of a $50,000 bond set in Middletown Municipal Court.

Staff Writer Rick McCrabb contributed to this report

ExploreGrand jury gets case of Middletown woman charged in theft of driver’s purse

About the Author