A Lansdowne man was sentenced on April 23 to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to pulling an unusual series of convenience store robberies in Catonsville last year.
Stephen James Hughes, Jr., 34, of the 500 block of Fifth Avenue in Lansdowne, pleaded guilty to several charges of robbery, theft and assault related to a series of events last November in which he returned to the scene of his first crime and was arrested.
According to police, on Nov. 22 at 7:45 a.m., Hughes walked into the 7-Eleven located on the 1600 block of Edmondson Avenue in Catonsville.
Police said that Hughes squeezed the buttocks of the store clerk, handed her a note and demanded money. During the robbery, he kept his right hand in his pocket, suggesting that he had a gun, according to police. Hughes fled the scene in an orange-and-white County Cab.
At 12:20 p.m., Hughes walked into the 7-Eleven on the 400 block of Frederick Road and demanded money from the cashier. The store employee said she didn't have any money, and the suspect left empty-handed, according to police
Fifteen minutes later, Hughes walked into the Royal Farms on the 500 block of Edmondson Avenue and handed the cashier a note, according to police. He was reportedly startled and ran out the front door, heading east on Edmondson Avenue in a County Cab.
At 12:40 p.m. Hughes returned to the 7-Eleven on the 400 block of Frederick Road and entered the store, where he was apprehended by police.
The crimes were made into two cases combined into one hearing, according to court records. In one case the judge sentenced Hughes to 15 years in prison with all but 10 years suspended, and two years of supervised probation. For the other case, the judge sentenced him to 15 years in prison, which was suspended, and two years of probation.
As a condition of his probation after release from prison, Hughes must submit to urine drug testing and get mental health treatment.
While reading the statement of charges in court, the prosecutor said that Hughes was identified from surveillance video and was also recognized from Narcotics Anonymous meetings by a clerk at one of the stores.