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Facebook posting leads to arrest in purse thefts

Hamburg police said a posting on the department's Facebook page is responsible for identifying a woman who was arrested in the theft of two purses in Walmart.

Karen Spratz, 35, of Evans, was charged with fourth-degree grand larceny and petit larceny for incidents May 1 and May 8. She was arrested May 15.

Police put a video of a store surveillance camera on its Facebook page last week.

It showed a woman taking an item from another woman's shopping cart, checking out and then walking out of the store on Southwestern Boulevard.

Viewers were asked to contact police, and someone called, identifying Spratz.

When police did not find her at her house, they questioned her at work May 15.

She said the person in the video was her, and she admitted taking the purse and taking the money out before hiding the purse in the store, according to the police report.

Department spokesman Capt. Kevin Trask said police have received several phone calls on a previous set of purse larcenies at Walmart but have not been able to make an arrest in that case.

The Facebook page has exceeded his expectations, he said, adding he hopes it builds a following and continues to be successful.

email: bobrien@buffnews.com