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Co-Owner of Collector's Lair Pleads Guilty to Receiving Property - abc27 WHTM

Co-Owner of Collector's Lair Pleads Guilty to Receiving Stolen Property

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Lynchburg, VA - The co-owner of the Lynchburg hobby store that burned down earlier this year, is now a convicted felon.

Paula Lair pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to four counts of receiving stolen property, three felonies and one misdemeanor.

She faces a maximum of 61 years in prison.

Lair and her husband ran the Collector's Lair on Fort Avenue until it caught fire in January.

Was it a terrible coincidence or set on purpose? That's what police detectives are still trying to determine. They say the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Paula Lair was arrested in December 2012, after she was caught buying stolen electronics in an undercover sting, police said. One month later, her family's hobby shop was destroyed by a fire.

Chuck Felmlee, the Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney says in June 2012 and October 2012, Lair bought brand new iPod touches, a GPS and gaming consoles from an undercover informant. He says in the four audio recordings of the transactions, the informant can be heard telling Lair the items were stolen.

"She was the one that was told the merchandise was stolen. She's the one that accepted the merchandise on all four occasions," Felmlee said after Tuesday's hearing.

Detective Lisa Singleton, the lead investigator, says several suspects in breaking-and-entering and shoplifting cases told police they were taking the stolen items to the Collector's Lair. Many of the items were sold on Ebay, she said.

Under the plea deal, prosecutors won't bring any additional counts of receiving stolen property against Paula or her husband for activity that happened between January 1, 2010 and December 3, 2012.

Paula Lair's scheduled to be sentenced in January.

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