GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — Ryan Donohue, 21, of Point Pleasant, pleaded guilty to one count of theft from an elderly person recently and was sentenced to six months in prison in the Gallia County Court of Common Pleas.
On Dec. 11, 2015, a crime occurred at Walmart parking lot in Gallipolis in which Donohue approached an elderly woman asking if she needed assistance with her groceries. The woman declined. Donohue walked around the vehicle, grabbed the victim’s purse out of the passenger seat and began running away. Another customer in the parking lot heard a woman yell for help. The customer, identified as Jason McCarty, of Vinton, chased Donohue knocking him to the ground and held him until the police arrived.
Donohue entered a plea of guilty to the fifth-degree felony theft charge. Under Ohio law, theft of this matter would normally be a misdemeanor. However, the age of the victim and the fact that the purse contained personal checks allowed the case to rise to a felony level.
“I applaud the good Samaritan who stepped up and assisted the victim and I am also thankful that no one was hurt during the incident,” said Gallia Prosecutor Jeff Adkins. “I am also pleased to report that due to the assistance of the good Samaritan that the purse and all of its contents were returned to the victim. We came to the agreement of a six-month prison term after thorough discussions with the victim. During negotiations of these cases, it is important to have the victim involved in possible resolutions. It was clear that the motive for the theft was drug-fueled and we have to send a clear message to those who seek to take from hard-working people in our community. This is a very young defendant who needs to turn his life around quickly.”