State v. Allen, ___ N.C. App. ___, 812 S.E.2d 192 (Mar. 6, 2018)

In this felony breaking or entering and felony larceny case, a store Notice of Prohibited Entry was properly authenticated. After detaining the defendant for larceny, a Belk loss prevention associate entered the defendant’s name in a store database. The associate found an entry for the defendant at Belk Store #329, along with a photograph that resembled the defendant and an address and date of birth that matched those listed on his driver’s license. The database indicated that, as of 14 November 2015, the defendant had been banned from Belk stores for a period of 50 years pursuant to a Notice of Prohibited Entry following an encounter at store #329. The Notice included the defendant’s signature. The defendant was charged with felony breaking or entering and felony larceny. At trial the trial court admitted the Notice as a business record. On appeal, the defendant argued that the Notice was not properly authenticated. The court disagreed, concluding that business records need not be authenticated by the person who made them. Here, the State presented evidence that the Notice was completed and maintained by Belk in the regular course of business. The loss prevention associate testified that she was familiar with the store’s procedures for issuing Notices and with the computer system that maintains this information. She also established her familiarity with the Notice and that such forms were executed in the regular course of business. The court found it of “no legal moment” that the loss prevention officer did not herself make or execute the Notice in question, given her familiarity with the system under which it was made.