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Casino Purse Snatcher Attempted to Escape Custody, Police Say

Maplewood man tried to flee from state police after stealing purse at Pennsylvania casino, according to court documents.

A Maplewood man suspected of stealing a purse at Parx Casino attempted to escape arrest and had to be tackled to the ground, according to police.
A Maplewood man suspected of stealing a purse at Parx Casino attempted to escape arrest and had to be tackled to the ground, according to police.

Written by Theresa Katalinas.

A Maplewood man in custody for allegedly stealing a purse tried to flee from Pennsylvania State Police and had to be forced to the ground and tackled, according to police. 

Isaiah A. Smith, 26, of the 700 block of Prospect Street in Maplewood, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with a felony count of escape and misdemeanor counts of theft of property lost and resisting arrest. 

While at Parx Casino in Bensalem, Pa., police allege Smith stole a Buxton purse valued at $100 from one of the casino's patrons on Tuesday. He then left the casino and returned later, according to court documents. 

Smith was identified as the purse thief via surveillance, according to court records. He was placed in investigatory detention in the Pennsylvania State Police office during the investigation, according to court documents.

As a police officer was walking Smith back to the state police office, he threw the door open and ran out, according to the affidavit of probable cause. Police commanded him to stop but he did not, and was then tackled as he was “actively resisting arrest, trying to actively get free," according to court documents.  

Surveillance saw two men who authorities said were with Smith at the time of the theft walking to their vehicle in the parking lot after Smith was taken to investigatory detention. Police said the men, who were not identified, threw the purse into a trash can in the parking lot. It was recovered and identified as the same one that had been stolen, according to court documents. 

Smith is being held at the Bucks County Correctional Facility in lieu of 10 percent of $5,000 bail. He awaits a preliminary hearing set for next week.

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