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Henderson police want tougher law for habitual thieves

Posted January 27, 2011
Updated January 28, 2011

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— Henderson police are urging state lawmakers to pass legislation this year that would toughen punishment for habitual offenders of certain types of misdemeanor crimes.

Lt. Chris Ball says police officers have found themselves arresting the same people for the same crimes – mostly stealing from grocery stores and discount stores.

For example, officers arrested John Junior Haywood, 54, of 647 W. Rockspring St., and Robin Davis, 44, of 2065 Francis Ave., on Saturday in connection with the theft of four packs of beef ribs from a local Food Lion.

Each was released after posting bond amounts of $300.

Under North Carolina law, the maximum sentences they could receive on misdemeanor larceny charges is 30 days in jail.

Both Haywood and Davis, however, have extensive criminal histories. Since 1981, Haywood has been charged with larceny and shoplifting-related crimes 48 times and has been convicted 39 times.

Davis’ history dates 25 years, and she’s been charged 54 times and convicted 36 times.

Henderson police want a law similar to one in Virginia, in which someone convicted three times for misdemeanor larceny can be charged with a felony upon a fourth arrest. That would increase any possible jail time to up to a year.

Rep. Jim Crawford, D-Granville, said he hopes to introduce a bill as early as next week, but lawmakers say funding could be an issue, especially in times of a state budget crisis.

Sen. Doug Berger, D-Franklin, supports the legislation but says it could cost an estimated $23 million in the first year to incarcerate the additional criminals.

An alternative, he said, would be to limit the felony charge to people with a large number of convictions.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Vietnam Vet Jan 28, 2011

    Whatever happened to the concept of the "Three Strikes" laws that some other states have. You would think that something along those lines would already be in place here. Convicted 36 times. Sounds like a habitual criminal to me!!

  • LIVEITUP Jan 28, 2011

    Where's the LIKE button?

  • jscletsplay1002002 Jan 28, 2011

    I think the Police should ask for harsher punishing laws for people who habitually speed, people who habitually jaywalk, people who get parking tickets over and over. What else can we add?

  • Eastern N.C. Native Jan 28, 2011

    Great idea! Also, White E, great question.

  • boogieboy Jan 28, 2011

    Good luck with this one, the courts will not buy off on this.
    January 27, 2011 5:55 p.m.
    Report abuse

    what? there are all kinds of laws for habitual offenders in certain crimes. G.S. 14-33.2 habitual misdemeanor assault (class H felony). G.S. 20-138.5 habitual impaired driving (class F felony) and since when do the courts make the laws? they may rule on constitutionality, but they don't make the law. sherlock, please disconnect your internet. you are not educated enough to use it responsibly

  • kcollier39 Jan 28, 2011

    the problem is the police in henderson only wants to give someone a ticket for going 5 mph over the speed limit and a seatbelt ticket.you can never see one in the high crime places.

  • White E Jan 28, 2011

    Anybody know want the court expenses have been those 54 times?

  • sherri4 Jan 28, 2011

    The information is this article regarding punishment of misdemeanor larceny is inaccurate. In NC misdemeanor larceny is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 120 days in jail for those folks with extensive records, not 30 days. Had anyone bothered to fact check this, the mistake would have been easily caught.

  • Objective Scientist Jan 27, 2011

    Hey... a minor crime involving property and non-violent committed for the first time. I can agree with leniency, possibly probation and community service, possibly even expunging the record after a probationary period. But... I have absolutely NO such leniency for the repeat offenders. Three strikes and you're out sounds like a very good idea for me.

  • ladybug1996 Jan 27, 2011

    My husband works in henderson & they have shoplifters all the time. He called the cops & they didn't even come out. The said it wasn't worth their time. Why do they all of a sudden care about shoplifters or much less the local businesses? The police need to change their attitudes & SERVE & PROTECT ALL. Not just certain places BTW this was a repeat shoplifter too.