Home Invasion Suspect Was Recently Sprung from Prison Police Said.
The 42-year-old served 17 years for burglary and stealing, and had 3 felony convictions before that, records show.
The suspect in an armed home invasion and robbery of a Chesterfield jeweler and his wife in February, had been recently released from prison after 17 years, police said this week.
According to court records, Richard James Lynch, 42, of O'Fallon MO served 80 percent of a 21-year sentence for a conviction on two counts burglarly and one count stealing.
Lynch had three separate felony convictions before the 1995 sentencing, according to Missouri courts online website, when he was sentenced as a "prior, persistent, Class X offender."
Lynch was arrested as a suspect March 1 on a tip from a pawn shop, in the February 16 armed home invasion and robbery of a family residing off Woods Mill Road in the 13000 block of LaBarge Drive.
Lynch is being held in St. Louis County jail on a $250,000 cash bond.
During the robbery, police said the suspect put a gun to the victim's head outside his Chesterfield condo about 10 p.m., forced him inside, took the victim's wife hostage, and ransacked the house for jewelry and other valuables before fleeing.
Lynch has been charged with first-degree burglary, two counts robbery in the first-degree, assault in the second degree, two counts of felonious restraint and four counts armed criminal action—all felonies, in this latest spree.
Police said the pawn shop tipster recognized some of the stolen loot from photos the police had sent out shortly after the home-invasion robbery was reported.
The pawn shop tipster got the suspect's thumbprint by promising to do business with him—but instead reported his suspicions to police.
Police said the victims identified Lynch from a voice lineup, since their intruder was wearing a ski mask and gloves at the time of the incident. The couple's two young children slept through the incident.
Chesterfield police said the victims did not know the suspect prior to the incident, but that the suspect knew his victim was a jeweler, and where he worked.
Businesses had put up a $5,000 reward for a tip leading to conviction, shortly after the incident.