Woman Convicted after Stealing Purses from Hospital Employees

She admitted that she took purses from two employees at Belleville Memorial Hospital, then when she was free on bond, she took two more purses from employees at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Belleville.

Latory Lofton, 26, used stolen credit cards to buy a gold necklace, baby clothes and tennis shoes, prosecutors said.

On Tuesday, Lofton, of 5435 Avon St. in Washington Park, agreed to plead guilty Tuesday to the unlawful use of a credit card and theft charges in exchange for prosecutors seeking a two-year sentencing cap on each felony.

Authorities gave this account of what happened:

Lofton took a tan purse from an employee at Memorial Hospital on Aug. 25, 2003, about 3:30 p.m., prosecutors said.

Two days later, Lofton went back to Memorial and took another employee's black purse, police said.

She was charged on Sept. 16, 2003, ticketed and was released.

About four months later, prosecutors said Lofton took two purses at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Belleville and took credit cards.

Lofton took the cards to Kohl's, Famous-Barr and Kmart in Fairview Heights and used them to buy a gold necklace, baby clothes and tennis shoes, according to court documents.

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Annette Eckert accepted Lofton's guilty plea, but ordered a psychological and substance abuse evaluation be completed on Lofton before she sentences her in January.

Lofton's criminal history shows she was convicted of home invasion and battery in 1998. She received two years probation, but failed to comply with the requirements and was sentenced to 15 days in jail.

In 2001, Lofton was convicted of unlawful use of a credit card and received a sentence of 18 months probation. The probation was later revoked and she was ordered to spend 20 days in county jail.