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Friendly Hug Turns Into Theft Attempt, Struggle

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Linda S. Towell

Linda S. Towell

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GODFREY, Ill. (KMOX) –  It started as a friendly gesture, but it was just a lie to cover an attempt to rip off a 90-year-old woman.

The victim told sheriff’s officials that a female acquaintance of hers, later identified as 47-year-old Linda S. Towell of Greenville Ill., stopped by her home in Godfrey Monday claiming that she wanted to pay back $40 that the victim had loaned her two years ago.

The suspect then went to hug the 90-year-old victim, who quickly noticed that Towell was actually reaching into the purse hanging from the victim’s shoulder and picking out cash.

The two struggled and the victim was pushed to the ground — she was not seriously hurt.

Towell was later arrested at a home in Alton.

Authorities learned she had been sentenced in May 2010 to two years in prison for pulling a similar scam on someone else, but had been paroled after just one year behind bars.

She’s a suspect in several similar incidents in Alton.

Towell’s accused of telling people false stories about having sick relatives and needing gas money, but instead using any donated cash to buy drugs.

She’s being held in the Madison County jail on a felony charge of robbery.

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