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Duo Busted For Slew of Thefts

A duo from Jackson County now faces a slew of theft-related charges, including conspiracy, after their alleged two-person criminal operation unraveled.

Jessica Ann Normand, 43










Jessica Ann Normand, aged 43 and hailing from Sylva, has been apprehended on various charges. These include one felony count each of obtaining property through false pretenses, larceny, and conspiracy to commit felony larceny, as well as one misdemeanor count each of possession of stolen goods, conspiracy, and larceny.

Austin Tyler Rice, 24

Austin Tyler Rice, aged 24 and from Cullowhee, has also been arrested on several charges. He faces two felony counts of conspiracy, one felony count each of larceny and possession of stolen goods, and one misdemeanor count each of larceny, possession of stolen goods, and conspiracy.









The allegations against them revolve around the theft of multiple weed trimmers and a bicycle. They subsequently attempted to pawn at least one of the stolen weed trimmers, resulting in additional charges.

These alleged crimes occurred on September 29 and 30, as per court records.

On September 29, it is believed that Normand and Rice stole a bicycle valued at $250 and a Stihl 110R trimmer belonging to Amanda Bradley.

On September 30, they purportedly pilfered two more weed eaters, specifically two Stihl trimmers, an FS 130 and an FS 131, valued at $1,100, from Jason Richie.

Court documents reveal that Normand is accused of taking one of the trimmers to Middleton’s Pawn & Jewelry on East Main Street, pawning it for $80 on September 29, which led to the charge of obtaining property by false pretense. A warrant for her arrest was issued by the Sylva Police Department on the same day. At that time, her partner in the thefts from Bradley was unknown, according to court documents.

However, it didn’t take long for the identity of the co-conspirator to be revealed. A warrant for Rice’s arrest was issued on October 1.

Both suspects were found in possession of the stolen items.

It’s worth noting that felony larceny typically applies to items valued at $1,000 or more, carrying a potential punishment of up to 25 months in prison if convicted, and felony conspiracy is usually charged one step lower than the felony crime the conspirators committed. In this case, conspiracy to commit a Class H felony would likely be charged as a Class I felony, carrying a punishment of three to 12 months behind bars if convicted. Felony possession of stolen goods, another charge they face, is a Class H felony with a possible punishment of up to 39 months in prison if convicted.

Normand was booked into the Jackson County Detention Center and later released under a $20,000 secured bond, while Rice was booked into the same facility and later released under an $8,000 secured bond.

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