WEST PITTSTON — A mother and daughter face charges in the case of an elderly good Samaritan who police say was robbed while giving two women a ride from a borough grocery store.
Yvette P. Dinning, 38, and Carol Shock, 56, both of Wyoming, face charges of theft by unlawful taking.
According to police, Shock and Dinning were taken into custody by West Pittston police around 6:15 p.m. Thursday. Both women were arraigned but Shock was released on $5,000 unsecured bail while Dinning was taken to the Luzerne County Correctional Facility after failing to post her $15,000 bail.
Both Shock and Dinning initially denied stealing the purse when questioned by police, court records show.
Pat Gayoski, 82, of Exeter, said Thursday the women approached her for a ride to Eighth Street as she was loading groceries into her vehicle outside Gerrity’s on Wyoming Avenue. When she dropped them off a few minutes later, she realized her coin purse containing $80, her cell phone and driver’s license, was nowhere to be found.
“I was so upset,” Gayoski told the Times Leader Thursday. “There I was thinking I’m doing some good for somebody.”
Gayoski said one of the women sat in the front seat with bags over her legs. She thinks one of them took the purse from in between the two front seats as she was looking at the road. The front-seat passenger darted from the vehicle as Gayoski dropped them off, she said.
She knew right away the purse was stolen because she had “set it right there on the divider.”
The theft, Gayoski said, not only shattered her charitable side but left her without money she depended on.
“I’m on a fixed income and that money they took was what I had for the end of the month,” she said. “I thought I was doing someone a favor because I felt sorry for them.”
She won’t take that chance again.
“I wouldn’t help anybody anymore unless I knew them,” she said.
Gayoski said the robbery was especially disappointing because she planned to use the cash for a golf outing this weekend in honor of her great-grandson Liam Schulze, who died in 2009 at 20 months old from a rare blood disease. The event, hosted by Sang Springs County Club, takes place Saturday at noon and will raise funds toward researching the disease, according to the event’s Facebook page.
Reach Joe Dolinsky at 570-991-6110 or on Twitter @JoeDolinskyTL