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'Hugging bandit' back in court

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Buffalo: 'Hugging bandit' back in court
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A Buffalo woman who made national headlines after a string of thefts in 2007 was back in court Thursday. YNN's Meg Rossman has more from the newsroom.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Fifty-four year-old Myra Castleberry, better known as "The Hugging Bandit," was arraigned before a state Supreme Court judge Thursday afternoon on charges stemming from an incident in Allentown last summer.

Castleberry pleaded not guilty to one count of grand larceny in the fourth degree Thursday, after police said the Buffalo resident stole a wallet from a 35-year-old man while he was paying his cab fare near the Jim's Steakout on Allen Street in July.

According to prosecutors, Castleberry is no stranger to the court system, having been arrested 59 times with a total of 44 prior misdemeanors. She was arrested back in 2007 after police said she pulled off a string of thefts by "hugging" male patrons outside the Chippewa entertainment district.

Castleberry's attorney said Thursday the case is based solely on identification after she was picked out of a single photo lineup a month and a half after the incident. Her attorney had no comment, but Castleberry was granted a 45-day adjournment.

She's being held on $50,000 bail and could face a maximum of 2 to 4 years in prison. So far, no future court date has been set.

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