SNOW HILL — Two of the four suspects indicted by a Worcester County grand jury for their roles in the armed hold-up of a Route 50 convenience store and subsequent high speed chase in Ocean City in August each pleaded guilty to armed robbery last week in Circuit Court and each was sentenced to a considerable amount of jail time.
Charles Richard Conden, III, 19, of Edwardsville, Pa., last Thursday pleaded guilty to armed robbery for his role in the hold-up of the Raceway Citgo store on Route 50 near Route 589 on Aug. 3 and was sentenced to 20 years in jail, 10 of which was then suspended. Conden was placed on three years’ probation upon release and the other 13 counts against him were not prosecuted. Another defendant, Antonio Lee Suarez, 18, of Allentown, Pa., also pleaded guilty to armed robbery and was sentenced to 15 years, all but four of which were suspended. Suarez was placed on probation for five years.
Two other suspects, Sarah Gryskevicz, 19, of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and Payne Stewart Prasnikar, 21, of Stillwater, Pa., were also indicted by the grand jury on multiple charges for their roles in the armed hold-up of Raceway Citgo. After robbing the store at gunpoint, the four suspects headed into Ocean City at a high rate of speed before crashing into a vehicle around 120th Street.
Around 5 p.m. on Aug. 3, Ocean City Police were monitoring the Maryland State Police radio frequency when a call went out for a reported armed robbery at the Raceway Citgo store. The suspects fled the scene in a blue Chevrolet with Pennsylvania tags and headed east on Route 50 toward Ocean City.
A vehicle description was broadcast to all officers in the area and the vehicle was soon located heading north on Coastal Highway in the area of 77th Street. OCPD officers attempted to stop the vehicle at 80th Street to no avail. During the subsequent pursuit, the vehicle reached speeds in excess of 80 mph on a crowded Coastal Highway in prime time in August.
Conden got out of the vehicle around 100th Street and fled on foot. Meanwhile, the blue Chevrolet continued north on Coastal Highway at a high rate of speed before crashing into another vehicle while attempting to turn right. The four suspects involved in the pursuit fled on foot, but were apprehended moments later by OCPD officers and bystanders. No injuries were reported at the armed robbery at the Citgo store, but one of the suspects reportedly fired a shot after leaving the store with an undisclosed amount of money.
While Gryskevicz, Suarez and Prasnikar were apprehended shortly after the crash on Coastal Highway, Conden was not caught immediately and his description was broadcast calling him likely armed and dangerous. Around 8:30 a.m. the following Tuesday, Pennsylvania State Police apprehended Conden in the area of Kingston, Pa. after the two-day crime spree that began in Pennsylvania and ended in the Ocean City area, including the armed robbery at the Raceway Citgo.
Prior to the armed robbery on Route 50, around 2 a.m. on Friday, Conden and another suspect shot out the door of a multi-million dollar estate owned by a prominent businessman in Lehman Township in Pennsylvania in an armed home invasion. According to a Pennsylvania State Police press release, Conden and the other suspect entered the residence, but fled after about five minutes when the estate’s burglar alarm triggered. A 90-year-old woman at home at the time barricaded herself in a closet, but no injuries were reported.
After that early morning incident on Friday, Conden and the other suspects headed to the Ocean City area and carried out the armed robbery at the Route 50 convenience store.