A Wheelchair, a $37K Rolex, and Now a Plea Deal

That's just how Larry Johnson rolls; too bad the jewelry theft didn't pan out
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2016 2:48 PM CDT

It's not clear whether a watch thief was inspired by the word "roll" in "Rolex," but he didn't get away with his wheelchair scheme either way, pleading guilty Wednesday to charges of robbery, larceny, and assault, the AP reports. Per the Connecticut Post, Larry Johnson wheeled himself into a jewelry store in Stamford Town Center on Aug. 2, 2014, and requested a closer look at a $37,000 Rolex watch. Once he had it in hand, he's said to have leaped out of the wheelchair, doused the clerk and a security guard with pepper spray, and sprinted out of the store, knocking the guard down as he went.

A local police officer, however, managed to pick up a fingerprint from one of the chair's wheels, and combined with employees who IDed him in a lineup, Johnson was extradited in 2015 from New York state, where he has about 20 other criminal convictions, including for sexual assault, drug charges, and assaulting a cop, per a 2015 article in the Stamford Advocate. He was also suspected for another wheelchair theft in White Plains, NY, per Lohud.com, but his lawyer says charges weren't brought against him in that case. For his plea deal, Johnson agreed to six years of prison and eight years of "special parole." His sentencing is Dec. 7. (A woman's snail's-pace getaway from a Michigan Walmart was in a motorized wheelchair.)

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