STAMFORD -- A woman begging to have her picture taken off a Facebook page showing pictures of her stealing six purses during a church meeting at a Stamford hotel last October was arrested Wednesday for the pocketbook thefts, police said.
The break in the case came police said when Dominique Abelard, 20, of 1 Chestnut Street, Norwalk, inexplicably called a young woman that had put a police release detailing the pocketbook thefts up on a Facebook page with pictures of two females stealing the pocketbooks, police said.
The young woman, who belongs to the same church as one of the pocketbook theft victims, uploaded the surveillance camera pictures of the thefts that occurred at the Hilton Hotel on October 23 in hopes that someone would call with information identifying the two women, veteran police investigator Jeff Booth said.
"She was upset that they got their items stolen and the girl wanted information and put it up on her Facebook page and she started getting calls immediately," Booth said.
Within a couple of days, someone contacted the young woman and gave her Abelard's name, Booth said.
But, because the person did not want to make a sworn statement identifying Abelard the identification remained hearsay and still left police without enough evidence to obtain a warrant, Booth said.
Then, Booth said Abelard called the woman who put the Facebook page up on the internet and "begged" her to take the pictures down.
When the woman went to investigators with that information, police were able to confirm Abelard made the call and tracked her down. Now, having all the evidence necessary to prove probable cause, Booth obtained a warrant for her arrest, said Booth, a 14-year member of the Stamford police department.
The identity of the second suspect in the pictures remains unknown, said Sgt. Andrew Gallagher.
Abelard, who lives directly across from the Norwalk police department, was charged with two counts each of sixth-degree larceny and illegal use of a credit card. She is being held in lieu of $5,000 bond and is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges at state Superior Court in Stamford on March 23.
As well as the purses being taken, the suspects charged just under $1,000 on credit cards contained in the purses and an undetermined amount of cash was taken.