By: Mary Robb Jackson

NEW CASTLE (KDKA) – A couple from New Castle, who have allegedly been preying on the elderly, are now behind bars thanks to two elderly women.

It was a heist that netted $20.

Two feisty ladies tangled with a purse snatcher last week and it appears that the alleged robber may have gotten the worst of it.

Last Friday evening, at Pizza Man’s Pizza on South Jefferson Street, two women in their 80’s parked their car in the lot next door.

“There were two women coming into the restaurant to eat – older women,” employee Roxane DeAngelo said.

Just then, a car pulled up alongside them with a man, a woman and two small children inside.

“The guy jumped out of the car and grabbed the lady’s purse,” DeAngelo said.

As the 82-year-old woman held on to her bag, her 89-year-old friend went into action.

“She tried to fend him off with her cane,” New Castle Police Chief Tom Sansone said.

According to police, the man wrestled the purse away, but not before being whacked a few more times.

The 89-year-old began banging on the trunk of the getaway car and left a few dents.

The ladies made great witnesses.

“Partial license plates, description of him, description of the car,” Chief Sansone said.

On Sunday, police arrested 27-year-old Jerry Lee Brown, Jr. and 21-year-old Tatiana Marie Vargas.

Police located the dented car they were driving in Neshannock Village, where the couple was taken into custody.

Brown was wanted on a slew of warrants, including a recent home invasion in New Castle, where an 84-year-old woman was roughed up.

In addition, Brown faces four-more outstanding warrants in North Carolina.

“It is a huge relief,” Chief Sansone said. “We don’t want people to have to lock their doors because something like this is happening.”

Brown and Vargas remain in the Lawrence County Jail on $25,000 bond.


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