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Couple charged with staging West Ocean City hat store robbery

WEST OCEAN CITY — A married couple is on trial in Worcester County on charges that they staged a robbery inside a West Ocean City hat store.

Kevin Purnell, a clerk at Lids, told police in August that a man attacked him inside the store, put a gun to his back and stole merchandise and cash. But police say surveillance video showed a woman, not a man, binding his hands and feet — and that Purnell had no physical injuries.

Authorities say Purnell and his wife, Roslyn C. Purnell, were arrested in Baltimore two weeks later when their van carrying about 800 hats was stopped. A defense lawyer says there’s no way to trace those hats to the robbery.

The Daily Times of Salisbury says both defendants are facing theft and conspiracy charges.