Saratoga County

Accused Halfmoon wallet thief arrested after Facebook post

Stacie Rifenburgh
Stacie Rifenburgh

HALFMOON — The weekend arrest of a Halfmoon woman accused of stealing a wallet in a McDonald’s restaurant came after the victim of the alleged theft posted about the incident on Facebook.

Janine Goff, who left her wallet in the restaurant, figured out what happened to it and confronted the suspected thief, snapping a picture of her in the parking lot, Goff said.

“This lovely lady stole my my wallet,” stated a Facebook post by Goff on May 23.

By the time the accused thief was arrested on Saturday, the post had been shared nearly 3,500 times.

State police on Saturday arrested 42-year-old Stacie Rifenburgh and charged her with petit larceny, a misdemeanor.

“The response was amazing,” Goff said of her post.

Before posting the photos to Facebook, Goff first took them to the state police. The license plate image was good enough for troopers to identify the suspect, said state police spokesman Trooper Mark Cepiel.

After they got the surveillance footage and investigated the incident, they interviewed Rifenburgh and arrested her, Cepiel said.

Rifenburgh is accused of taking $180 in cash from the wallet at the Route 9 McDonald’s before ditching the wallet in the restaurant’s bathroom.

Goff, who lives near Troy, was at the Halfmoon McDonald’s that day with her husband and grandchildren. She said they liked that McDonald’s because it has a play area.

She said she’s not sure exactly how Rifenburgh got her wallet, but she remembered being at the register getting ice cream when Rifenburgh entered with a child.

As Goff and her family left, she realized she didn’t have her wallet, she said. Her husband didn’t have it either, so Goff went back inside. Rifenburgh was in the restaurant, and Goff recalled asking if she’d seen the wallet. Rifenburgh responded that she hadn’t, but Goff said Rifenburgh’s reaction raised her suspicions, and she asked Rifenburgh to stay until police arrived.

Rifenburgh reacted by going to the restroom. Goff followed. Goff soon found her wallet in the stall Rifenburgh had been in, in an otherwise empty trash can and without the $180 in cash that had been there.

Goff then confronted Rifenburgh in the parking lot and said she would let the matter go if Rifenburgh returned the cash. Rifenburgh repeated she didn’t have it and drove off.

“I don’t know how somebody could do something like that, because I could never do that,” she said.

Goff announced the arrest on her original Facebook post Tuesday.

“Glad she got caught!” one woman replied.

The arrest was the first of two alleged opportunistic wallet thefts closed out with arrests by the state police this week.

On Tuesday, they announced the Monday arrest of Holly McGreevy, of Lansingburgh on a petit larceny charge.

McGreevy is accused of taking a wallet left behind at Market 32 in Clifton Park.

A customer reported leaving her wallet at a self-checkout lane, and it hadn’t been turned in to customer service. 

Working with Market 32, state police zeroed in on McGreevy, who had checked out immediately after the victim. Troopers identified her through the transaction records, Cepiel said.

Both Rifenburgh and McGreevy were released to appear in court later.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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