A robbery that netted less than $20 worth of gas and cigarettes could land a pair of St. Johns County siblings in prison for decades. The two were caught shortly after the man walked into the gas station and threatened the clerk with a knife, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The man told the clerk to turn on the pump and leave it on until the tank was full and also demanded a pack of cigarettes, the newspaper reported. The clerk told the man he had to pay, but he refused and left after his sister pumped $13 worth of gas into the pickup truck. The clerk gave police a description of the truck and the two were caught and arrested minutes later. Both are charged with armed robbery.
Armed robbery is a first-degree felony punishable by up to life in prison. Typically, armed robbery charges that receive life sentences deal mostly with cases involving firearms, not a folding knife like the one police say was used in this case. But it does illustrate the enormous difference the between Jacksonville Robbery Cases and Jacksonville Theft Cases. For example, taking a pack of cigarettes and stealing some gas from a gas station would be petit theft and a second-degree misdemeanor, since the value is less than $100.
But bringing the weapon and essentially holding up the gas station took this Jacksonville Robbery Case to much more serious territory. The newspaper reported the pair was also suspected in a similar robbery earlier in the day in St. Johns County, but they didn’t get the gas they demanded. In that incident, they stole beer and didn’t pump gas. Florida law states that “If in the course of committing the robbery the offender carried a firearm or other deadly weapon, then the robbery is a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life imprisonment.” Use of a weapon not deemed to be a deadly weapon would make the charge a second-degree felony, with a maximum penalty of 15 years in state prison. In this Jacksonville Robbery Case, both the brother and sister are facing armed robbery charges. Even though the sister did not show the knife or walk into the store where the threat was made, she can still be charged because she pumped the gas and drove the car off. Now, she’s must less complicit and is probably the more likely of the two to have her charges reduced, but is also looking at potentially decades behind bars.
If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville Robbery Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.