Lynchburg, VA- A downtown Lynchburg business owner has been forced out of her space, and she and her husband have been charged with grand larceny.
You may remember last summer we told you about that jewelry store Habit, and introduced you to its owner, Ariel Oliver. She says she and her husband, Trevor, have both been wrongly accused. They are said to have stolen metal and building supplies from the basement of the McGregor Building on Main Street--the same building Ariel's store was located in.
According to the police report, it all started early Saturday morning at around 4:30. Police say a resident of the building saw the Olivers loading metal and pipes into the back of their pickup truck. Officers were called to the scene where they questioned the Olivers and then left.
Sunday morning the Olivers were arrested, and later released that same day. After they were released they went back to the McGregor Building and cleaned out their store.
Ariel says she and her husband were loading supplies into their truck that night, but the supplies belonged to them. She says the items they're accused of stealing haven't been in the basement since last year. She's accusing the building owners and manager of fabricating the theft, to force her out of a two-year lease, a year early.
"I do believe that we were in the way. And it's just plain and simple. I mean, how else do you breach a contract than by throwing a big old hefty theft charge on somebody?... And I know I'm innocent. I have all the proof I need and a good attorney, and I'll be OK," said Ariel.
Ariel says she will continue running her jewelry business from home until she finds a new location. The McGregor building owners and manager have declined to comment on her accusations.
The Olivers' arraignment is scheduled for May 15.