, Gloucester, MA

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June 12, 2013

Gloucester District Court: Woman gets probation for thefts of purses:

Gloucester District Court

Melanie Cogan, a 57-year-old Heights of Cape Ann resident, admitted Monday to charges of receiving stolen property and larceny under $250 in Gloucester District Court.

Judge Mary McCabe found Cogan guilty on both charges and placed her on probation under administrative supervision until next year.

Police had arrested Cogan twice in March, both arrests related to taking purses.

In the first instance, McCabe took a wallet that a woman had left behind accidentally at Shaw’s. The second arrest resulted from police searching Cogan and finding a former neighbor’s medical card in her purse. Cogan had stolen the neighbor’s purse earlier that year.

Robert T. Knowlton, a 48-year-old Gloucester man, admitted in court to sufficient facts on charges of indecent exposure and disturbing the peace. Judge Mary McCabe continued his case to December without a finding.

Knowlton, accused of exposing his genitals in front of children at the Railroad Avenue train station, was ordered to remain under administrative supervision.

Joseph A. Croce Jr., a 64-year-old Western Avenue resident, admitted in court to a charge of leaving the scene of property damage, and Judge Richard Mori found him guilty of the charge.

Mori ordered Croce to pay a $50 assessment and remain under administrative supervision until next year, staying clean of drugs in the meantime.

Croce, who drove into another vehicle on Mansfield Street and fled the scene on foot in March, was ordered to pay restitution, but the exact sum has yet to be determined.

A 55-year-old South Hamilton man admitted to sufficient facts on a drunken driving charge in court, and Judge Richard Mori continued the case to next year without a finding.

The driver, Edmond Shehaj, was ordered to pay $600 in fees and assessments, and his license is revoked for 45 days. Shehaj, who was driving at about 15 miles per hour partially in a break down lane on Eastern Avenue when Essex police arrested him in April, was found not responsible for a marked lanes violation in the case.

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