SARATOGA SPRINGS— Fifty-seven-year-old Robert D. Horton was caught in a ironic circumstance after his attempt to steal the wallet of Lois Celeste, the Senior Center Executive Director on Wednesday, March 5.
The situation began when Celeste walked back toward her glassed-in office only to find Horton already standing there in her office rummaging through her purse. When confronted, Horton claimed to be looking for the bathroom.
“He kept saying ‘I wasn’t in your wallet; I wasn’t in your purse; I wasn’t in your office, as we’re standing in my office,” Celeste said.
As Celeste questioned the man, another staff member entered the room.
That’s when Horton decided to flee and Celeste followed in pursuit.
She said that it may not have been a very good decision, but she was concerned with her wallet that contained cash and credit cards including her Senior Center credit card.
Celeste chased Horton across Williams Street, across Hamilton and cross-lots by St. Peter’s Church onto Broadway.
Horton continued to run across Broadway to the Holiday Inn, which ironically for him, had a Department of Homeland Security Conference that was on break at the time.
More than 100 police officers attended the conference that day, and it was a plain-clothed Albany Police Officer followed by Saratoga Springs police officers who ran outside to find out what was going on. Horton was arrested and was charged with fourth-degree attempted grand larceny.
After all the commotion, it was found that Celeste’s wallet actually had remained in her office at the Senior Center. The wallet had been tossed into the corner when he was caught with his hands in her purse.
Celeste was most disturbed by the fact of someone who took advantage of the trust of the Senior Center, whose doors are always open to everyone.
Horton was issued tickets for the misdemeanor and was released to appear in court March 11.