RALEIGH, N.C. — Motherly concern led Cheryl Mozingo Dexter to accompany daughters Heather and Nicky on a shoplifting trip to Wal-Mart, where the trio boosted more than 200 DVDs worth about $4,000, she said.
She was worried about their safety, she told police.
A Wake Superior Court jury didn't buy it, taking less than 30 minutes Wednesday to hand Cheryl Dexter a felony larceny conviction for the stolen merchandise that sends her to prison for as long as 10 years.
Prosecutors and Wal-Mart staffers said Dexter, 41, was a key part of a March 2008 shoplifting incident in Holly Springs. It wasn't the first trip around the criminal justice block for the Dexter women, all of Clayton. Cheryl Dexter has prior larceny and shoplifting convictions in Wayne and Sampson counties; Heather, 22, in Wilson and Johnston counties; and Nicky, 24, in Wilson, Harnett, Duplin and Wayne counties, court records show.
The day of the Holly Springs thefts, Heather and Nicky Dexter were under judges' explicit orders to stay away from any Wal-Mart, anywhere, court records show. They went anyway, according to a surveillance video shown to jurors.
"They were taking handfuls of movies -- from seven to nine movies at a time in a handful," Harold John York, a Wal-Mart staffer charged with preventing and detecting theft from stores, testified Tuesday.
In August, Heather Dexter pleaded guilty to a felony larceny count in the same incident and is serving a prison term, records show. Nicky Dexter, facing the same charge, is awaiting trial.
Family members such as the Dexters get arrested together from time to time, Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said, but police don't keep statistics on parents and children working together in criminal enterprises. In some cases, parents have gotten help from children younger than 16.
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