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Shoplifting from a retail location is not the most serious crime in North Carolina. If you steal less than $1,000, it’s usually charged as a misdemeanor, and charges don’t typically go higher than a Class H felony. There are associated fines and can be jail time, depending on the specific charge, but numerous other crimes are treated more severely by our lawmakers.

In mid-November, however, a Belmont woman’s alleged shoplifting spree resulted in over 16 felony and misdemeanor charges and a $1,061,000 bond against her.

What happened?

Lacey Brooke Lynch and the $1 Million Bond

Lacey Brooke Lynch allegedly began her day by conspiring to steal items from a Rite-Aid and a Dick’s Sporting Goods with Robert Eugene Bartlett Jr. However, she ended up getting into a lot more trouble than a single shoplifting charge would have ever brought her.

It started with fleeing the police. Gastonia Police Officer A.E. Johnson says that Lynch was driving recklessly and going 45 mph in a 35-mph zone. From there, it got worse.

According to Johnson, Lynch tried to run him over with her car. He had to run out of the way of the car and would have faced life-threatening injuries or death if he had been hit.

To make this vehicular nonsense even worse, Lynch doesn’t even have a driver’s license. That’s another offense to add to the laundry list of charges against her.

When Lynch was finally apprehended, the crimes kept piling up. Police found over $300 worth of items from Rite-Aid, including razors and hair care products that were allegedly stolen. Heroin, a syringe, and multiple pipes were also found in Lynch’s car.

This isn’t the first time that Lynch has been arrested for shoplifting. Nor is it her first experience with heroin, having admitted to using the drug the year before while she was six months pregnant.

So, what exactly does Lynch face for her series of wild, illegal acts? She has been charged with 10 felonies and 6 misdemeanors, including:

  • Attempted first-degree murder
  • Heroin possession
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Possession of stolen property
  • Larceny
  • Conspiracy to commit felony larceny
  • Fleeing to elude arrest in a motor vehicle
  • Reckless driving
  • Driving without a license
  • Resisting an officer

The potential penalties she faces for these crimes could turn into years in jail if she is convicted. Her alleged partner-in-crime also faces multiple larceny and conspiracy to commit larceny offenses.

Lynch is currently in Gaston County Jail, and law enforcement posted a $1 million bond after her arrest.

Small Offenses Can Easily Escalate

Greensboro Shoplifting Attorney

Lynch’s story is an important reminder even a single small criminal offense can easily lead to more if the situation gets out of hand, and penalties can quickly add up as well. If an incident involves multiple crimes, you are likely to face multiple charges, as well as a lengthy and serious criminal process.

The bottom line is that in most cases running from a situation is the worst thing you can do. Whether or not you believe you are guilty, the smart thing to do is comply with law enforcement officers and ask to speak with a North Carolina criminal lawyer as soon as possible. If you find yourself on the wrong side of the law, do not hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultation.


About the Author:

Jan Elliott Pritchett
 is Managing Partner at the Law Firm of Schlosser & Pritchett and one of North Carolina’s top rated criminal defense attorneys. With a practice dedicated 100% to litigation, Mr. Pritchett protects the legal rights of clients who have been charged in federal and state criminal matters, as well as DUI/DWi, motor vehicle accidents, personal injury, and traffic violations. In practice since 1995, Mr. Pritchett has earned a reputation as a highly talented and fearless lawyer, being listed among the state’s “Legal Elite” and recognized as one of the Top 100 DWI Lawyers in North Carolina by the National Advocacy of DUI Defense.  He currently serves as the Co-Chairman of the North Carolina State Board of Legal Specialization, Criminal Law Specialty, and Vice-Chairman of the North Carolina Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section.


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