Judge gives thief with meth problem 42 years

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A man whose meth addiction has led to years of criminal conduct was ordered to serve 42 years behind bars this week by a judge in Bowie County.

Jasyn Alexander, 40, pleaded guilty to a long list of crimes including the June 9, 2016, robbery of Hobby Lobby in Texarkana, Texas. Alexander attempted to leave the store with a cart full of merchandise without paying. When a store employee tried to stop him, Alexander pulled a knife and threatened the woman. Most of the goods were left in the cart but Alexander did grab an Amazing Airbrush Kit worth $34.99 before running away.

Alexander told 102nd District Judge Bobby Lockhart that a methamphetamine dealer gave him a list of items available at Hobby Lobby which he could trade for methamphetamine and that led to the theft. Methamphetamine use has been a part of Alexander’s life for at least two decades, Alexander said.

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Alexander was arrested a couple of weeks after the Hobby Lobby robbery when Deputy U.S. Marshal Kevin Jarrell spotted him trying to steal a scooter from the parking lot of Starbucks coffee shop on State Line Avenue in Texarkana, Ark. The marshal followed Alexander and managed to pull him over in a Texarkana, Texas, neighborhood in the 4300 block of Olive Street.

Texarkana, Texas, police officers determined that the plates on the truck Alexander was driving were fakes and that the truck itself was stolen. Inside the stolen pickup officers discovered a cache of stolen merchandise including fishing motors and fishing gear as well as numerous items still new in packaging which they suspected had been stolen. Among the stolen goods, officers found a tin containing methamphetamine, syringes and a checkbook and identifying information, a driver’s license and social security card, belonging to someone other than Alexander.

After hearing testimony about other felonies, including an aggravated robbery in Arizona, for which Alexander has been convicted, Lockhart handed down a hefty sentence in the Hobby Lobby robbery, citing Alexander’s behavior while on or searching for methamphetamine.

Alexander will begin serving the 40-year term for robbery after he has served 24 months in a state jail for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, possession of someone else’s identification, and possession of a controlled substance. Lockhart gave Alexander credit for time served toward three 180-day county jail sentences for misdemeanor theft.

Alexander’s priors include aggravated robbery, residential burglary, obstructing governmental operations, aggravated criminal damage, burglary, theft of property, and prohibited substance in a correctional facility.

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