On Wednesday July 17, 2013, at approximately 10:30 PM, deputies from the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office were called to Anawana Lake Rd. and Bard Rd. in the Town of Thompson (Monticello) for a report of an attempted robbery.
At the scene deputies interviewed a 38 year old woman who had been walking along the shoulder of the road with a friend and some children when a subject approached from behind and attempted to steal her purse. The woman fought off the assailant who dropped what appeared to be a handgun and fled the scene. The suspect, who was described as a white female with brown hair in a pony tail, ran south on Anawana Lake Rd. where she entered a small silver/gray car near the entrance to Wal-Mart and fled the scene. Deputies recovered the handgun from the shoulder of the road and discovered that it was actually a pellet gun. A further search of the crime scene yielded a pair of women’s flip-flops (slippers) which apparently fell off the suspect’s feet when she made her getaway.
Deputies pressed the investigation through the evening, eventually developing several significant leads by day break. Shortly before 8:00 AM on July 18, 2013, deputies stopped a vehicle fitting the description at the entrance to WalMart. Taken into custody were Amber Irelan, 23, of Rock Hill and Patricia Flanagan, 23, of Glen Wild.
After being interviewed by Sheriff’s Detectives, Amber Irelan was charged with 2 counts of Attempted Robbery in the First Degree. She was arraigned before Thompson Court Judge Martin Miller and sent to the Sullivan County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bail. The driver, Patricia Flanagan was only charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a motor vehicle in the 2nd degree. She was released on her own recognizance pending a future court appearance.
Sheriff Mike Schiff says that he appreciates the assistance from the community, especially members of Hatzalah who initially responded, thinking someone was injured, but stayed to assist the Sheriff’s Deputies and help calm the concerned citizens at the scene.
“This type of incident is highly unusual”, said Sheriff Mike Schiff. “I want to assure our visitors to the Catskills that we work very hard with the other police agencies to make sure everyone’s visit to the area is a safe and enjoyable experience”.
(YWN Catskills Newsroom)