Crime

Pepper spray robbery suspect in Lake Wylie pet store, Waffle House caught, police say

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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

A suspect who used pepper spray during two robberies in Lake Wylie earlier this month has been arrested in North Carolina, police said.

York County deputies have arrest warrants for Vladimir Augustus Lynch, 42, charging him with strong arm robbery, said Trent Faris spokesman for York County Sheriff’s Office. Lynch was taken into custody by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officers around noon Thursday, Faris said.

Lynch assaulted a clerk at a pet store in Lake Wylie on Aug. 2, then attacked a waitress and cook at a Lake Wylie Waffle House on Aug. 6, Faris said.

In both cases, the suspect assaulted victims with pepper spray, Faris said.

Lynch is accused of scamming employees at both businesses on S.C. 49.

In the first incident, Lynch claimed he wanted to buy a dog toy with a $5 bill, Faris said. Lynch then pepper-sprayed the female clerk after she opened the cash drawer, according to deputies.

The suspect stole around $300, according to a sheriff’s office report.

Then on Aug. 6 around 4 a.m., deputies say Lynch went into the Waffle House in Lake Wylie and pepper-sprayed a waitress then a cook.

Lynch ordered a drink, which the waitress gave him for free, Faris said. Then Lynch left the restaurant, came back in and ordered a hamburger, Faris said.

After Lynch again presented a $5 bill to pay for the food, he assaulted the employees with the pepper spray, Faris said.

Lynch took more than $300 in cash during that robbery, according to a sheriff’s office report.

The cases remain under investigation.

Lynch remains in the Mecklenburg County jail pending extradition proceedings, deputies said.

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