While a young woman lay dead or dying on a street in Hamilton, Ont., say police, a thief stole the purse that had been thrown from her body when she was struck by an alleged drunk driver — and later used her credit cards.
Jason Trotter, 29, was arrested by police Jan. 3 and charged with fraud and theft of an unidentified 20-year-old woman's purse after she was left to die following a hit-and-run last year, according to Staff Sgt. Steve Hrab of the Hamilton Police.
"It's deplorable. It offends our sense of decency to think that a young girl is struck as she's crossing a street by, it turns out, an alleged drunk driver who takes off," Hrab said. "As she's laying there crumpled in a heap on the street we have another individual that comes along that takes advantage of the situation and takes her purse with some credit cards in it and then uses them."
Hrab compared the theft to looting and pillaging in a war zone.
"That's the only time I can think of something like this happening. To have it happen here in Canada on our streets . . . nothing surprises me, but it's offensive."
Police said they were able to trace Trotter by following the usage records of the woman's credit card and one belonging to her boyfriend.
Hrab said while Trotter's arrest won't bring any measure of closure to the woman's family, he was happy that police were able to put an end to this chapter of the story.
"I'm glad that we were able to arrest this individual and, hopefully, send a message to other individuals that we'll take this very seriously and we'll go the extra mile to make sure that these kinds of individuals face justice."
The woman, whose name police aren't releasing, was hit while she was crossing Main St. East in Hamilton on Sept. 18.
Hrab said that there were witnesses of the collision and paramedics were quickly called to the scene. Nothing Trotter could have done would have saved the woman, the officer said.
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