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Ogdensburg man confesses to mugging 81-year-old woman

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An Ogdensburg man awaiting sentencing in St. Lawrence County jail, Canton, for a felony robbery charge has been identified as the man responsible for mugging 81-year-old Penfield woman last year.

County sheriff’s department investigators on Monday said Travis M. Howe, 27, of 7035 Route 37, confessed to robbing Patricia Menga on Aug. 12, 2011, at the Stone Fence Motel, Route 37.

Mrs. Menga and her husband, Richard, were staying at the hotel while visiting family. When Mr. and Mrs. Menga arrived at the hotel, a man came running down a ramp at the end of the building and demanded Mrs. Menga’s purse as she exited her vehicle. Mrs. Menga told investigators that the man threatened her with what she believed was a club. Deputies said she yelled for her husband, but her attacker fled with her purse while she fell to the ground.

Investigators said Mr. Howe told them Mrs. Menga’s purse was thrown in a dumpster in Ogdensburg the day after the robbery. The stolen items were not recovered.

Investigators said any charge from this crime is covered by a plea agreement to an unrelated first-degree robbery charge stemming from Mr. Howe’s involvement in a previous armed robbery at the Twin Bridges Convenience Store, Ogdensburg. He pleaded guilty to the robbery charge in County Court Oct. 18, and is expected to be sentenced to 12 years in state prison Feb. 25.

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