A tip to Canonsburg police Tuesday night led to the woman suspected of stealing items from the vehicles of mourners who were inside a West Pike Street church for a funeral Mass Monday morning.
Sabrina Hancock, 24, of 124 W. College St., was taken into custody at her apartment.
Mourners attending a funeral Mass at a Canonsburg church Monday told borough police they had items stolen from their unlocked vehicles.
Detective Michael Ledger said Wednesday police got a tip Hancock had been dropped off at a location in the borough.
“We worked it back from there,” Ledger said. “We went to her employer and then to her apartment. We’ve had some dealings with her in the past.”
Ledger said she initially denied her involvement in the thefts, but later admitted to it.
The vehicles had been parked in front of St. Patrick Church, 317 W. Pike St., while people were attending a 10 a.m. Mass. One of the mourners got into his vehicle after the service and noticed a backpack containing an iPhone, laptop computer and two GoPro cameras was stolen from his vehicle.
A funeral director told police she saw a woman picking up items in front of the church. When she asked the woman what she was doing, the other woman indicated she was picking up items she had dropped.
The funeral director said the woman, who was carrying a backpack and grocery bags from the nearby Shop ’n Save, then walked away, turning right onto Hutchinson. The funeral director gave police a description of the woman
Police then received calls from others who had been at the funeral. One woman told police a bag containing a 9mm handgun and two clips was stolen from her vehicle. Other items stolen from vehicles included a wallet, two pairs of Smith sunglasses, valued at $250 each, a cellphone and a Garmin global-positioning system.
Ledger said Hancock told police she sold the handgun.
Police are still investigating that aspect of the case and are trying to track down the weapon.
Hancock was placed in Washington County jail Tuesday night on a probation detainer. She will be arraigned by video before District Judge David Mark on four counts of theft from a motor vehicle and one count each of theft, receiving stolen property, carrying a firearm without a license and illegal sale of a firearm.