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Man pleads guilty in series of armed robberies in Pa.

December 20, 2005|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - One of three people charged in a series of armed robberies last year pleaded guilty Monday in Franklin County Court to three counts of criminal conspiracy to commit robbery.

As part of the plea agreement, Timothy Joshua Thomas, 19, of 1161 Means Hollow Road, Shippensburg, Pa., would serve six to 23 months in Franklin County Prison, according to Assistant District Attorney Timothy Wilmot.

Wilmot told Judge John R. Walker that Thomas had cooperated with prosecutors in the investigation.

Along with the jail time, Wilmot said the plea agreement calls for Thomas to receive additional time on probation as deemed appropriate by the court.

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The robberies occurred at the Sunoco station at 3448 Black Gap Road at 3 a.m. on July 24 and at 5:25 a.m. that same day at Rutter's, 5459 Molly Pitcher Highway, Marion, Pa. He also was charged with robbing the Texaco Food Mart at 304 N. Earl St., Shippensburg, at 10:41 p.m. on July 26 and the Sunoco at 92 W. King St., Shippensburg, at 5:37 a.m. on July 29, according to court records.

In each case, one or two of the suspects entered the stores and demanded money at gunpoint. The weapon was described as a black .22-caliber handgun, according to the police affidavits of probable cause.

Although two of the robberies occurred in Cumberland County, all of the cases were handled in Franklin County Court.

Along with Thomas, police charged David Joseph Bitner, formerly of Chambersburg, and a boy who was 15 at the time of the holdups.

In February, Bitner pleaded guilty to four counts of criminal conspiracy to commit robbery and was later sentenced by Walker to five to 20 years in state prison, according to court records.

The 15-year-old's case was handled in juvenile court, Assistant District Attorney T.R. Williams said.

Walker scheduled Thomas to be sentenced Feb. 1.

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