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Man sentenced for rash of Lynchburg burglaries, car chase

Man sentenced for rash of Lynchburg burglaries, car chase

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A man convicted of several burglaries from parked cars and leading police on an ensuing chase that put several schools on lockdown will serve just under five years in prison.

Clifton Lamont Irving, 45, of Arrington, pleaded guilty last month to 13 charges tracing back to last August and September, when prosecutors said he broke into cars and homes around Lynchburg.

Having developed Irving as a suspect and identified his vehicle, police spotted him Sept. 25 and started to chase him, according to evidence in the case and a news release from law enforcement at the time.

He fled into Bedford County and eventually was caught and arrested after a foot chase. Several schools were briefly put on lockdown during the pursuit.

At Irving’s sentencing hearing Wednesday in Lynchburg Circuit Court, those 13 convictions were combined with three new charges brought against him in January of this year.

Those three new charges — petit larceny, misdemeanor destruction of property and felony destruction of property — trace back to the same period last year, before Irving’s chase and arrest.

Prosecutor Jessica Vormwald said a witness saw Irving’s vehicle speed out of the SafeSide Tactical parking lot, where two people had reported safety equipment and ammunition stolen and damage to their vehicles. Fingerprints from the scene matched Irving’s, she said.

Rebecca Wetzel, who represented Irving, said her client has taken responsibility and agreed on restitution he owes to victims in the case. When given the opportunity to speak, Irving apologized.

Between the 16 total charges, Lynchburg Circuit Court Judge Fred Watson sentenced Irving to serve four years and 11 months in prison. Irving has more than 30 years of suspended time he potentially would have to serve if he violates good behavior provisions within the next 15 years.

Once he’s released from incarceration, he’ll need to pay $6,184 in restitution and will be on supervised probation for three years.

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