WILKES-BARRE — An accused thief facing charges she stalled the pursuit of an alleged armed robber was granted release to a rehab facility Wednesday.
TracyAnn Franklin, 34, of 1367 Penn Ave., Scranton, was granted furlough from the Luzerne County Correctional Facility, where she had been jailed since April 28 on charges she stole a purse from inside a vehicle parked near the Montgomery Avenue Elementary School in West Pittston.
Franklin was free on $10,000 bail when she allegedly committed the theft.
Franklin, who court documents say suffers from “serious substance abuse issues,” will be released Thursday to the Pocono Mountain Recovery Center, a rehab facility in Monroe County. Court records show Franklin was previously released to a treatment center in Waverly May 11, but was returned to the county prison two weeks later.
Luzerne County Judge David W. Lupas ordered Franklin to submit to random urine tests and drug screenings while under treatment.
Lupas ordered Franklin to return to jail if she is discharged or leaves the treatment center against medical advice. If she fails to return to the prison, she will be charged with a felony count of escape, the judge noted.
Prior to facing theft charges, Franklin was charged in January with hindering the apprehension of accused serial robber Joseph Lombardo. Police said she and Lombardo’s brother, Vincent Lombardo, drove the 39-year-old to East Stroudsburg and dropped him off, later denying any knowledge of his location when questioned by police.
After leading police on a high-speed chase, Lombardo was arrested and charged on Jan. 26 for his alleged role in a string of at least four armed robberies carried out in Pittston, Avoca and Hanover Township. In one heist, Lombardo allegedly brandished a handgun and struck a cashier.
Lombardo’s next court date is scheduled for September.
Reach Joe Dolinsky at 570-991-6110 or on Twitter @JoeDolinskyTL