MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The woman accused of stealing a $3 million bust of Benjamin Franklin bust will have her first court appearance Friday in Philadelphia where the crime happened. Before her arrest the suspect was in Mobile.
FOX10 News talked to the suspect's family in Mobile and Philadelphia.
The Windcreek Casino in Atmore was one of the places Andrea Lawton visited while on the Gulf Coast. According to an FBI affidavit, Lawton arrived at the Casino at 9 p.m. on September 16, and left around 3:45 the next morning. FBI agents tracked Lawton to a relative's house on Ziegler Boulevard in Mobile.
A cousin who lives at the home wants to remain anonymous. She said she was shocked when Lawton showed up on her doorstep with nothing but the clothes on her back.
The cousin said she suspected Lawton was in trouble, but she didn't realize Lawton was accused of stealing a $3 million bust from her former employee.
Family members tell FOX10 News they never saw Lawton with the stolen bust. But, police said Lawton had the Ben Franklin bust in a duffel bag when she was arrested in Maryland Friday moments after she got off a Greyhound bus from Mobile.
Family members in Mobile and in Philadelphia said they found out about the crime on the news, and they don't know much about it.
"I'm trying to find out information, to find out what's going on," as a cousin in Philadelphia said when contacted by phone.
The Philadelphia cousin said family members are shocked. And they have a lot of questions about the crime.
The owner of the valuable bust, George D'Angelo, said Lawton removed an air conditioning unit from a window to get inside his house. He also said the pedestal was pulled outside, but the cleaning crew apparently interrupted the burglary.
"She had the pedestal of the out, but when the other girls were showing up, she quickly departed, and the pedestal was left behind," D'Angelo said.
Lawton's cousins don't think she could physically pull off the crime by herself.
"Because she has a busted leg. Her leg has staples and screws and everything in it, so I can't see her putting pressure on that leg to even do something like that," the relative in Philadelphia said.
But, for now Lawton is the only suspect charged with the theft.
Lawton's hearing Friday will determine her bond. You can read the FBI Affidavit to find out more about the crime.
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