Austintown Police: Suspect was getaway driver for purse-snatcher

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A Youngstown man is facing charges related to a purse-snatching in Austintown.

Police said the theft happened at PC Doctor on Tuesday morning. The suspect then got into a silver-colored Jaguar, which sped away westbound on Mahoning Avenue.

Witnesses said two men came into the store, trying to sell a laptop. The owner of PC Doctor declined to buy the laptop because the men couldn’t get it unlocked, according to a police report.

Witnesses said the men left the store and one of the suspects returned, requesting to buy a power cord. At that time, the suspect grabbed a woman’s tote bag and ran.

Police stopped a vehicle matching the description of the getaway car on Brockway Avenue and reported that 36-year-old Frank Howley, Jr. was driving. A woman was also in the car, but officers couldn’t find the suspect who took the purse.

Howley was arrested and charged with complicity to theft and having an expired vehicle registration. He’s scheduled to appear in court at 1 p.m. August 7.

Police identified a suspect but haven’t yet arrested him or filed charges.

Police said the victim’s stolen bag was found inside the car, as well as two laptop computers.