Pair arrested in purse thefts

TYRONE – Bellwood and Tyrone police report two men are in custody after a pair of purse thefts.

It started around 1 p.m. Friday outside Brother’s Pizza, 114 Main St., where a woman reported to police that someone broke out the passenger side window of her vehicle while she was in the restaurant and stole her purse, Bellwood Police Chief Joseph Schlecht said.

About an hour later, at 1:54 p.m., another purse was stolen from a parked vehicle at Choice Cigarette Discount Outlet, 100 W. 10th St.

Two men, one identified by police as Walter Robert Henderson, 32, of Altoona and a 17-year-old male, were driving a white Dodge Caravan. They were described to police as suspects in the Bellwood theft, and Tyrone police said Henderson allegedly reached into a car at Choice and stole a purse.

Schlecht said police were able to obtain video surveillance footage from another store in Bellwood and a bulletin was sent out.

Tyrone police said that an hour and 20 minutes after the Choice incident, one of the credit cards that was in that stolen purse was used in State College.

About 4:30 p.m. officers in Tyrone and Bellwood reported that Patton Township police had the suspects in custody.

Henderson confessed to the crimes and was charged with theft from a motor vehicle, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, criminal mischief, and several counts of theft related charges. Charges were filed before Magisterial District Judge Fred Miller.

Additional charges against the 17-year-old, who was released to his mother, are forthcoming. Police said the investigation remains ongoing.