Royal man arrested after crime spree

By Steven Mross

April 3, 2019

A Royal man was arrested early Tuesday on multiple felony charges stemming from an alleged three-month crime spree that included numerous break-ins and a high-speed pursuit during which he rammed his vehicle through a building.

Michael Allen Lynch, 27, who lists a Ragweed Valley Road address, was taken into custody around 3:30 a.m. and charged with possession of meth with purpose to deliver, punishable by up to 20 years in prison, first-degree criminal mischief and theft of property over $5,000, punishable by up to 10 years, and breaking or entering, second-degree criminal mischief, felony fleeing, and possession of drug paraphernalia, each punishable by up to six years.

Lynch was also charged with misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest, criminal mischief, failure to appear and unlawful transfer of stolen property to a pawnshop, punishable by up to one year in jail.

Lynch was being held on bonds totaling $57,250 and is set to appear today in Garland County District Court.

According to a probable cause affidavit on some of the charges, on Jan. 7, a break-in to a storage facility at Trader Bill’s, 1530 Albert Pike, was reported in which several boats belonging to the business and customers were damaged and numerous items were taken.

An employee of the business found a cellphone in one of the boats that didn’t belong to anyone there and appeared to have been dropped by whoever broke in. Hot Springs police Detective Les Jessup got a search warrant to extract data from the phone which had multiple user accounts allegedly traced back to Lynch.

Numerous photos were found on the phone of marine stereos, battery chargers and other marine equipment like the items reported stolen. There were also messages pulled from the phone related to the stolen items in which Trader Bills was referred to as “Raider Bills.”

Detective Shaun Stillian spoke with one of the boat owners who had several items stolen, including a charger, jumper box and three Interstate batteries. Some of the photos pulled from the phone were of similar items which were shown to the owner who confirmed the items belonged to him.

Stillian also spoke to a boat owner who had several thousand dollars’ worth of fishing equipment stolen, including 12 to 15 rods and reels, several boxes of lures and other items. LeadsOnline was checked and a pawn ticket found from 270 Pawn Shop, 4430 Albert Pike, for 10 rods and reels, three boxes of lures and a depth finder sold on Jan. 2.

The boat owner met Stillian at the pawnshop and he was reportedly able to identify $3,500 worth of the equipment as his. The depth finder was found to belong to Trader Bill’s. The total value of the property was $4,800.

Stillian got video from the pawnshop that allegedly showed Lynch and another known suspect pawning the stolen items. The affidavit notes the total amount of items stolen from Trader Bills was $9,590 and damages to the boats and the fence at the storage facility was estimated at $14,495.

According to the affidavit on the felony fleeing and criminal mischief charges, on Feb. 28, shortly after 4:30 a.m., Officer 1st Class Jonathan Smith was at Walmart, 1601 Albert Pike, attempting to locate a red 2011 Chevrolet Equinox suspected in a felony theft at the store.

He spotted the Equinox pulling through the lot and followed it onto Airport Road where he attempted a traffic stop. The vehicle accelerated across Airport headed east on West St. Louis with Smith in pursuit.

He noted the vehicle ran all the stop signs on West St. Louis and was clocked doing 55 mph in a 25 mph zone. The pursuit continued to North Patterson Street where he lost sight of it. While stopped at the corner of Albert Pike and North Patterson, Smith said he spotted the vehicle again “stuck inside the building” at 304 Albert Pike.

He got out and approached the vehicle and ordered the driver, whom he recognized as Lynch, to show his hands. Lynch allegedly ignored Smith and “began driving forward and backwards inside the building, trying to free his vehicle.”

After knocking out the east wall of the building with his rear bumper, Lynch broke free and sped westbound on Albert Pike. The pursuit continued for another 20 minutes out Albert Pike with the Equinox reaching speeds in excess of 90 mph and Smith finally terminated it after Lynch crossed into Montgomery County.

Damages to the building on Albert Pike were estimated at $14,000.

According to the affidavit regarding Lynch’s arrest, around 3 a.m. Tuesday, Smith and Officers Zachary Brown and Billy Perkins obtained information Lynch, who had multiple felony warrants at that point, was possibly in the area of Spring and Illinois streets.

Brown and Perkins approached the area from Grand and Spring while Smith and his K-9 partner, Bear, came down Illinois. Brown reportedly spotted Lynch standing on the side of Spring near a green Toyota passenger car and he and Perkins got out and ordered Lynch to get on the ground as Smith and Bear stood nearby.

After several failed attempts to get Lynch to cooperate, Smith warned him that Bear would be used to take him into custody. At that point, Lynch finally complied and was handcuffed behind his back and patted down.

Officers allegedly found a Band-Aid container in his pants pocket and a glass pipe. Inside the container were 2.9 grams of what later tested positive for meth, a digital scale, small baggie and a magnifying glass.

Lynch allegedly became combative as they tried to transport him, slamming his head against Brown’s vehicle. They finally got him into Perkins’ unit, but while en route to the jail he allegedly moved his hands to the front of his body and began violently kicking the rear driver’s side door.

The door was damaged to the point Perkins was unable to get it open and he had to have assistance from Garland County sheriff’s deputies at the jail in getting Lynch out.