Cana man charged with robbing 'Thelma Lou'

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MOUNT AIRY, N.C. — Fans of The Andy Griffith Show will see the irony right off: "Thelma Lou" became the victim of robbery April 25 in the city that inspired the bucolic television town of Mayberry.

Mount Airy police have charged a 45-year-old Cana man, identified as Shirley Walter Guynn, in the case.

The victim in the case was Betty Lou Lynn of Mount Airy, according to the police report.

Lynn is best known for her role of Thelma Lou, the love interest for Deputy Barney Fife on the classic 1960s television show, according to information from the Internet Movie Database website.

"While Betty enjoyed other entertainment outlets such as film and the stage, it was her 'Thelma Lou' character that remains indelibly etched in the minds of all her fans," according to the Web page dedicated to the 83-year-old actress.

The incident occurred at about 3:50 p.m. on April 25 at the New Market Crossing in Mount Airy, the police report states.

"Officers responded to a reported strong-armed robbery," the report said. "An unknown subject grabbed victim's wallet from her hands."

The suspect was caught on West Pine Street, under a bridge, reportedly a short distance from the incident scene.

Stolen was $130 in cash, the report said. Police recovered $43.

Guynn received a secured bond of $10,000 from Surry District Court, with an order to appear in court on May 12.

Media outlets that cover Mount Airy discovered the incident and started reporting it Thursday.

"Residing in the same West Hollywood home since 1950, she moved out of state just a few years ago to a Mayberry-inspired town, Mount Airy, in North Carolina," IMDB reported. "The never-married former actress lives in a retirement community there."