Grocery-Store Thefts Yield Jail Sentences

Grocery-Store Thefts Yield Jail Sentences

Two people were convicted and sentenced to jail, last week, for stealing food from a local grocery store, and the case against a third person charged in that crime will go to the grand jury.

Larina C. Brawner, 24, of no fixed address, and Steven T. Wright, 18, of 6081 Meadow Crest Court in Chantilly's Sunset Ridge community, each received eight months in jail. James S. Simpson, 18, of no fixed address, will next appear in Circuit Court.

The incident occurred Dec. 9, around 11 p.m., at the Food Lion in the Fair Lakes Shopping Center. Officer Thomas Harrington of the Fair Oaks District Station was on patrol that night, checking the rear of the shopping center, when he saw a red Ford Focus in the alley next to the Food Lion. But as he approached the vehicle, its headlights came on and it sped away.

Turning on his cruiser's flashing lights, Harrington pursued the Ford and, after a short distance, it stopped. Police say Simpson and a woman — who escaped arrest — ran from the car toward I-66. Two others, Brawner and Wright, were taken into custody without incident.

A short time later, Officer Dalton K. Becker apprehended Simpson. Police say investigation revealed that all four people had allegedly stolen food from the Food Lion. Brawner was charged with reckless driving, speeding to elude and grand larceny.

Police charged Wright with grand larceny. Loudoun County also served him with warrants for destruction of property and breaking and entering.

Simpson was charged with escape with force and grand larceny. Loudoun County served him with warrants, too, charging him with burglary, breaking and entering, assault and destruction of property.

Brawner, Wright and Simpson all appeared, Feb. 5, in General District Court before Judge Ian O'Flaherty. The grand-larceny charges against both Brawner and Wright were both reduced to petit larceny, and each was sentenced to 12 months in jail.

O'Flaherty then suspended four months of each sentence and placed both Brawner and Wright on a year's probation. Brawner's other charges will be heard in traffic court. As for Simpson, the escape-with-force charge was dropped, but the judge certified the grand-larceny to the next grand jury for possible indictment.