CANTON -- A Lake Township man will spend six years in prison after admitting Monday to snatching purses from dozens of women across Stark County.
Timothy J. Hershberger, 40, whose former home address was listed in court records as 3693 Mount Pleasant St., pleaded guilty to 22 counts of theft and 12 counts of theft from an elderly person or disabled adult along with several other charges, including robbery, attempted theft, misuse of credit cards and forgery.
Hersberger entered the pleas before Stark County Common Pleas Judge Taryn Heath as part of a plea agreement with the Stark County Prosecutor's Office.
Several of the charges were merged under the law for sentencing purposes since they were part of the same criminal conduct.
Hershberger was arrested in late January and indicted on the charges in early April by a Stark County grand jury.
Law enforcement from multiple departments investigated the rash of thefts, including in Canton, Jackson Township, Alliance and Hartville.
Alliance police accused Hershberger of swiping the purses, including those belonging to elderly women, as they put groceries into their cars in parking lots. Investigators said he also took purses from shopping carts and, in once instance, from the front seat of a car while the victim was putting items into her trunk.
Thefts occurred at various locations in Stark County, including WalMart and Giant Eagle. Some of the thefts occurred in Canton last December.
Alliance police work led to a break in the case. Social media, video surveillance and phone calls from the general public were utilized in the investigation.