Early prison release for Southern Park Mall purse thief
A Boardman Township woman convicted stealing an elderly woman's purse at the Southern Park Mall is being released from prison, provided that she attends regular substance abuse counseling sessions.
Mahoning County Common Pleas Judge John Durkin granted early release to Courtney Paulin who will celebrate her 31st birthday this weekend.
Without a judicial release, Paulin wasn't scheduled to be released from a 12-month prison term until late November.
Boardman Police arrested Paulin last year for stealing a purse from an 85-year-old woman who was shopping at the Southern Park Mall.
The victim told officers a woman in her 20's approached her in Dillard's and asked her for the time of day.
According to the police report, the suspect grabbed the victim's purse saying, "I need this."
The victim told officers that she hit Paulin with her cell phone several times but wasn't able to keep a grip on her purse.
The purse was found later in a restroom trash can by an employee of the Centers for Hearing Care on York Avenue.
Paulin was arrested after Youngstown Crime Stoppers posted surveillance pictures of the suspect on their Facebook page.
Judge Durkin ordered that Paulin remains on probation for 18 months.