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Alleged purse-snatcher in custody on other charges

Several hours after allegedly stealing a purse from a woman outside the Weis Market at 305 River Ave. in Loyalsock Township on Tuesday night, Northumberland County resident Lonnie Hoey was taken into custody in that county on other criminal charges, state police said.

Following the purse-snatching that occurred about 6:30 p.m., Hoey, 31, of Paxinos, punched a 19-year-old man in the face as the teen attempted to get the woman’s purse back, police said.

The teen was successful in retrieving the purse, police said, adding that Hoey then fled the parking lot in a vehicle. Both the teen and the 66-year-old woman who was the victim of the purse-snatching obtained the registration to the vehicle, police said.

Hoey was positively identified with the help of the store’s surveillance video, which captured the purse-snatching, police said. When Hoey pulled the purse from the victim, the woman “violently fell into a brick pillar,” Trooper Matthew Miller, the lead investigator, said.

After leaving the store’s parking lot, Hoey went to the New China Royal restaurant, 418 Washington Blvd., where he asked to use the telephone, Miller said. When an employee permitted him to use the phone, Hoey simply left the store with the phone along with a headset, Miller said.

Hoey is being held in the Northumberland County Prison on burglary-related charges stemming from a crime committed in that county, Miller said. Hoey will be arraigned at a later date on charges stemming from his alleged involvement in the purse-snatching and subsequent assault.