Crime prompts calls for tougher punishment

After news that an 88-year-old woman was beaten and robbed in the parking lot of her apartment complex, local and state officials are urging lawmakers to toughen up punishments for repeat criminals and for those who commit crimes against the elderly.

Rotterdam police arrested two 21-year-old Schenectady women, Tiffany Tolliver of Albany Street and Dominique Lucas of Maple Avenue for first-degree robbery Saturday, Sept. 8.

The arrests occurred after police were called to the Victoria Apartment complex, located at the corner of Curry and Fort Hunter roads, because a neighbor found an 88-year-old woman on the ground, bleeding profusely.

Police said the woman had been shopping at Ocean State Job Lot in the Crosstown Plaza. She was then followed to her apartment where she was punched numerous times in the face and had bleach thrown in her eyes by the attackers who then stole her purse.

According to police, a witness said a white Cadillac was seen striking a retaining wall at the apartment complex and fleeing the scene.

Police said a vehicle fitting that description was seen in the Hannaford Plaza parking lot on Altamont Avenue where the suspects were apprehended after purchasing $450 worth or clothing from A.J. Wright with the woman's stolen credit card.

Currently, both Tolliver and Lucas are facing class B felony charges punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Rotterdam police Chief James Hamilton said the department is presenting evidence to the Schenectady County Grand Jury and he anticipates further charges.

Both Tolliver and Lucas had been previously arrested for various felonies and misdemeanors. There was a warrant out for Tolliver's arrest stemming from a May robbery in Schenectady, and Lucas had been arrested in April for criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of stolen property. Lucas was also arrested in March 2006 with a reported stolen vehicle and six small envelopes of heroin.

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