Repeat shoplifter faces up to 12 years in DVD theft case



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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A shoplifter faces up to 12 years in prison because of a Tennessee prosecutor's aggressive new approach to repeat offenders.

The Knoxville News Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1T74AES) reports that having been accused of stealing three DVDs from a Wal-Mart store, 40-year-old Nikia Bowens is charged with felony burglary, in addition to misdemeanor shoplifting charges.

Shoplifters who return to stores where they have already been caught also can be charged with trespassing, another misdemeanor.

But Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen last year authorized the use of felony burglary charges against petty thieves who have been banned from stores.

Knox County Assistant District Attorney General TaKisha Fitzgerald told jurors Wednesday that Bowens knew he was on Wal-Mart's "no trespass list" for repeat offenders when he entered the Knoxville store in December 2014.

Bowens was convicted of felony burglary on Thursday.

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Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com

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Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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