Man with stolen check runs risk of becoming habitual felon

by: Mark Becker Updated:

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TAYLORSVILLE, N.C. - Schneider Mills is a family-run business in Taylorsville, N.C.,and when one of their checks disappeared a couple of years ago, company president Hank Byrd told us they simply cancelled it, and didn't lose any money.

"Potentially it could've been a lot of money because we write some pretty big checks," Byrd said Tuesday, "but that one wasn't very large."

But for a Charlotte man named Shawn Robinson, that stolen check was a huge deal.

Because when police found him with that stolen check and several others, and some stolen credit card numbers -- he was in danger of becoming a habitual felon.

That's because Robinson already had at least 3 separate felony convictions--starting with a robbery in 1991, and this would be the one that would put him in prison for years instead of months.

"I would say that based on his history, he's a hard-core criminal," said prosecutor Erik Lindahl, who was ready to take Robinson to trial as a habitual felon before Robinson plead guilty on Tuesday morning and agreed to spend more than seven years in prison.

It was less time than he faced had he gone to trial and lost, but a lot more than he would have gotten if he had not been a habitual felon.