HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – A man convicted of fashioning an innovative means of stealing from women’s purses faces sentencing this week.
As WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reported, Anthony Johnson was convicted last year on charges of using stolen credit cards and identity theft.
Police said women were targeted after sitting down at the movie theater and putting their purses on the ground.
Johnson, of Philadelphia, then allegedly slithered like a snake beneath the seats. Attorney Jonathan Einhorn said his client deftly removed credit cards from the women’s wallets and a waiting accomplice would copy them.
“The evidence was that he was sneaking under movie sets, taking credit cards from women’s purses who left them on the floor, copying those credit cards and then returning them to the purses so that people might not know that their cards had been duplicated,” Einhorn told Schneidau. “And then they would sneak back under the seats and put them back in the pocketbooks.”
Since the cards were returned, the victims were unaware of the crimes until they received their credit card bill.
Prosecutors have asked for a sentence of 30 years to life since Johnson has a lengthy criminal history. But Einhorn argues that sentence would amount to cruel and unusual punishment.
Johnson is due to be sentenced in U.S. District Court in Hartford on Thursday.
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