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Bystanders, stun gun help apprehend fraud suspects

JENNA-LEY HARRISON
Staff Writer

Local citizens assisted deputies Saturday in apprehending a New York man along with two Charlotte individuals accused of fraud at an eastern Lincoln County convenience store after two of the three suspects tried to flee the scene, prompting officers to use a stun gun on one of the men, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Deputies arrested Albert Leonard Alexander Jr., 43, of 2721 Bellefonte Drive, Apt. A in Charlotte, for one felony count of obtaining property by false pretenses and one misdemeanor count each of driving while license revoked and resisting, delaying and obstructing a public officer; Justin Louis Wright, 28, of 300 Mountain View Avenue in Onondaga, N.Y., for one felony count each of obtaining property by false pretenses and conspiracy to obtain property by false pretenses along with one misdemeanor count of resisting, delaying and obstructing a public officer; and Patricia Louise Thompson, 38, also of 2721 Bellefonte Drive, for one felony count of conspiracy and one misdemeanor count of aiding and abetting.
The trio tried to use a fake or “altered” gift card to buy cigarettes from the Murphy’s Express on N.C. 73 in Denver, according to a department press release.
The Communications Center alerted deputies that while they were en route to the scene, the individuals’ vehicle was trying to leave the property. Officers apprehended the vehicle in the nearby Lowe’s parking lot, the release said. However, one of the suspects exited the vehicle and tried to escape the area after failing to obey deputies’ orders to remain inside, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies chased the suspect on foot before discharging a stun gun, which they said failed to send impulses through the man’s heavy jacket.
Eventually, three bystanders helped officers apprehend and handcuff the suspect, the release said.
Deputies said they also chased after a second suspect, who tried to hide in a nearby business’ restroom, but officers arrested the man after an employee gave them a key to access it.
Each suspect remains in the Lincoln County jail under a $25,000 secured bond apiece.
Out-of-county warrants may be filed against the trio in the future, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Deputies F. Runyon, K. Davis and Det. M. Burgess investigated the incident.

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