Two women from Pittsburgh are in the Butler County Jail following a robbery- and an alleged string of thefts- Monday in Butler Township.
Tara Purcell, 40, of Pittsburgh and Crystal Hayes, 41, of Homestead, are accused of working together on what police describe as a day-long crime spree in Butler County.
It was about 4:30 p.m. Monday afternoon when Butler Township officers became aware of an alleged robbery at the Puff N Stuff on Pittsburgh Road. One of the women allegedly displayed a “syringe full of an unknown liquid” to the cashier and then demanded money.
“We don’t know what was in it,” Butler Township Police Chief John Hays said Tuesday morning. “It’s our assumption that it was drugs, but we don’t know for sure. She was likely using it to threaten him to give her the money.”
The cashier- a male- was able to lock the cash register. The female made off with several packs of cigarettes but no cash. The other female was waiting in a vehicle and drove away.
Officers were then notified that these two females had also allegedly committed a retail theft at the Dollar General in the Greater Butler Mart just prior to the Puff N Snuff robbery.
Surrounding police departments were notified of the vehicle that these two women were traveling in. Penn Township Police found the vehicle- and the two suspects- at the Dollar General on Pittsburgh Road in Butler.
Purcell and Hayes were found inside the store and arrested. Multiple pieces of new merchandise were allegedly found inside the suspect’s vehicle, according to police.
Chief Hays said these two suspects also allegedly stole from a couple stores in Cranberry Township before coming to Butler.
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