Niagara Falls man arrested after pricey stolen purse shows up for sale on Facebook

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Published October 27, 2023 at 2:19 pm

A Niagara Falls man found out that if you’re going to fence stolen property, Facebook Marketplace probably isn’t the best venue.

Back on Oct. 15, Niagara Police responded to a robbery call in St. Catharines where a woman had personal items stolen from her car. Among the missing items was a $3,500 Yves Saint Laurent purse that had an identifiable tag with a certificate of authenticity serial number.

On Oct. 24, a Yves Saint Laurent purse was listed for sale on Facebook Marketplace for $1,400.  The seller posted images of the purse that included a certificate of authenticity serial number, matching the stolen purse.

So undercover police arranged a “buy” in a parking lot on Queen St. in Niagara Falls and when the suspect arrived with the stolen purse, he was busted. The purse has since been returned to the rightful owner.

James Roger McGowan, 39, of Niagara Falls has been charged with two theft counts surrounding the purloined purse.

He remains in police custody, scheduled for a bail hearing later today (Oct. 27) via video link to the courthouse in St. Catharines.

Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact the lead detective by dialing 905-688-4111, dial option #3, extension #1009483.

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