Child hides as man steals purse from car, authorities say

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Tommie Vales (Courtesy: Erie County Sheriff’s Office)

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SANDUSKY, Ohio– A man was arrested, accused of stealing a woman’s purse and using one of her credit cards.

The Erie County Sheriff’s Office said Tommie Vales is charged with theft after the alleged crime, which happened when a woman went into a building to hand in an application earlier this week. The woman said her purse was on the front seat of the car, which was unlocked and running.

Authorities said her 10-year-old son was in the back seat of the car. The child said he “hid” as soon as the man opened the door and it’s not known if the suspect ever saw him.

The woman later told authorities that someone used her stolen credit card at a gas station. They were able to identify the suspect after watching surveillance video.

When authorities found Vales at his home, he denied stealing the purse but told them he knew where it was. When a detective told Vales there was a juvenile in the car, they said he admitted to taking it, and using the stolen credit card to buy cigarettes. Authorities said Vales also told them he threw out the purse and cigarettes because he was upset with himself.

Vales is being held in the Erie County Jail.

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