Homeless woman accused of stealing $18K from hospitalized man


Staff Writer
Published: 10/8/2019 3:01:51 PM

NORTHAMPTON — A homeless woman was arraigned in Northampton District Court Tuesday on allegations that she stole $18,712 from a hospitalized man for whom she ran errands.

Ashleigh R. Wallace, 35, pleaded not guilty to charges of larceny over $1,200 by a single scheme, larceny under $250 from a person 60 years or older or disabled, credit card fraud over $1,200 and larceny of a credit card.

Northampton police allege that since the man lost his wallet in June, Wallace has been the sole user of his debit and credit cards, stealing $11,560 in debit card transactions while simultaneously charging $7,152 in unauthorized credit card purchases.

The man had first befriended Wallace after seeing her panhandle outside of Starbucks on Main Street while he was living downtown, according to court documents. Wallace was reportedly given cash and eventually a debit card by the man for help with picking up groceries, though the man told police she had always returned his card and that he made sure charges on his account added up, police said.

After he was hospitalized due to an unknown injury, police said the man noticed his wallet and cell phone were missing. A series of high-value withdrawals from the man’s bank account began around the same time, according to police.

An investigation by police allegedly revealed Wallace had been caught on security footage using the man’s debit and credit cards multiple times, either withdrawing cash or buying items at Walmart.

Wallace is due back in court on Nov. 4 for a pretrial hearing.

Michael Connors can be reached at mconnors@gazettenet.com.

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