SNOW HILL — A Delaware man who held up a downtown convenience store clerk at knifepoint was found guilty on Thursday and was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
Around 11:40 a.m. on June 6, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a reported armed robbery at the 9th Street Market. Officers arrived and met with the victim, the store’s clerk, who was standing outside the store. The clerk told police he was behind the counter when a suspect, later identified as Aubrey Stone, 33, of New Castle, Del., entered the store and demanded money.
According to police reports, Stone produced a silver, box-cutter-style knife, came behind the counter and said to the victim, “I’m not going to hurt you,” and “give me all of the money.” The victim opened the cash register and Stone took all of the money, totaling around $340, along with a pack of Newport cigarettes.
A description of the suspect was broadcasted via police radio and Stone was located a short time later on the Boardwalk just north of the pier. The victim was brought over and positively identified Stone as the armed robber. About $350 in cash and an unopened pack of Newport cigarettes were found on Stone’s person at the time he was taken into custody. During a later interview, Stone admitted to committing the robbery. He was arrested and charged with armed robbery, first-degree assault and theft.
On Thursday, Stone was found guilty on all charges and sentenced to 13 years in prison. The range for the charges on which Stone was convicted was eight to 13 years, and Worcester County Circuit Court Judge Dale Cathell sentenced him to the high end on the range. According to Deputy State’s Attorney William McDermott, Stone had over 20 convictions on his record and the incident in June was just the latest.
“Mr. Stone walked into the 9th Street store, pulled out a box cutter, threatened the clerk and took all of the money,” said McDermott. “Thanks to the outstanding efforts of the OCPD and the assistance of the Boardwalk surveillance cameras, he was identified and located quickly.”
McDermott said based on Stone’s prior record, he pushed for a sentence beyond the recommended range.
“He randomly walked into the store in mid-morning and robbed the victim at knifepoint,” he said. “I asked for 20 years because I thought the randomness of the crime and Stone’s prior record warranted it. In the end, Judge Cathell sentenced him to 13 years, which is at the high end of the guidelines.”