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Shoplifting, Mask Accusations Lead to Violent Response

A Lynn woman is facing a string of charges after police say she knocked down and stomped on a woman more than twice her age, then took the woman’s phone, during a shoplifting attempt Tuesday evening at a Swampscott convenience store.

Christine Lerebours, 31, of 172 Washington St., Lynn, is facing charges of assault and battery on a person 60 or older, larceny from a person, shoplifting and carrying a knife — in this case, a machete — in violation of the town’s bylaws.

Police were called by a “frantic” employee at the Richdale store on Humphrey Street, reporting a shoplifting, just before 7 PM Tuesday, Swampscott police Sgt. Jay Locke said.

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During the call, a woman — a 63-year-old customer — got on the phone and said she had been knocked down by the accused shoplifter. As the customer was speaking, she realized the accused shoplifter had returned and the line went dead.

As police arrived, the accused shoplifter, later identified as Lerebours, left again.

Police watched video surveillance showing the woman, who had already been accused of shoplifting, returning to the store, and walking toward the owner. The customer then got between them and told Lerebours that she should be wearing a mask.

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That’s when a struggle occurred and the older woman was shoved to the floor. Police say Lerebours then tried to challenge the woman to a fight.

As Lerebours approached her, the older woman grabbed her legs. She told police that Lerebours then began stomping on her.

At some point, police said Lerebours managed to get the customer’s cellphone and ran out of the store with it.

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Police caught up with Lerebours on Greenwood Avenue. They say she gave “many” fake names, none of which matched any records. She eventually gave her name after being taken to the police station. Police found two probation violation warrants for her.

Police also found the victim’s cellphone, the machete, and a number of hypodermic syringes while booking Lerebours.

During booking, Lerebours suffered a medical issue and was taken to Salem Hospital. She was later taken back into police custody. Lerebours was arraigned Wednesday in Lynn District Court…. The Salem News

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