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Federal Charges Added for Philadelphia Woman Accused of Stealing Rare Statue

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Brad Segall Brad Segall
Brad Segall is the award-winning Suburban Bureau chief at KYW...
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By Brad Segall

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — The legal problems continue to mount for a former cleaning woman from Philadelphia accused of stealing a rare bust of Benjamin Franklin from a home on the Main Line: she’s now facing federal charges.

A federal indictment charges 46-year-old Andrea Lawton with one count of transporting stolen property over state lines and one count of concealing stolen property.

franklin bust stolen  side Federal Charges Added for Philadelphia Woman Accused of Stealing Rare Statue

(This bust of Benjamin Franklin was stolen and later recovered. File photo)

Lawton is accused of stealing the bust, reportedly worth about $3 million, from a Bryn Mawr home in late August, then fleeing to Alabama.

Assistant US attorney Joseph Khan says Lawton was taken into custody about a month later.

“The defendant was arrested after exiting a bus in Elkton, Maryland, at which time she had the bust on her.  And her intent was to sell the bust,” he tells KYW Newsradio.

The bust was damaged during its ordeal.

Lawton has already been ordered held for trial in Montgomery County on burglary, theft, and conspiracy charges.  Authorities are still looking for her accomplice.

Lawton remains jailed in lieu of $1 million bail.

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