FREEHOLD – A Philadelphia man was sentenced to 19 years in state prison today after his conviction in February on charges he robbed employees at an Ocean Township AT&T store in 2016, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Anthony Clark, 42, of Philadelphia was sentenced to a combined 19 years in a New Jersey state prison Wednesday afternoon by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Ellen Torregrossa-O’Connor. The sentence is subject to the provisions of the “No Early Release Act” (NERA), requiring him to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for release on parole. The sentence follows his February conviction after a five-week trial on charges of first degree Armed Robbery, third degree Criminal Restraint, second degree Possession of a Handgun for an Unlawful Purpose, second degree Theft of Movable Property, and third degree Receiving Stolen Property.
At trial it was revealed Clark and four co-conspirators traveled from Philadelphia to Ocean Township on Sept. 6, 2016, in a stolen motor vehicle with plans to rob the AT&T store located on Route 35. Clark, posing as a customer, entered the store first and goaded a store employee into the far corner of the store under the guise of purchasing a cellphone. Shortly thereafter, three of his co-conspirators entered the store and forced the two store employees into a back inventory room at gunpoint. The store employees were forced to their knees and bound about their hands and feet with zip ties. While his co-conspirators proceeded to zip tie the staff members at gunpoint, Clark kept watch in the front of the store while communicating with another co-conspirator who was parked across the highway. Clark proceeded to fill numerous laundry bags with store merchandise, which were eventually loaded into the stolen motor vehicle. In total, Clark and his co-conspirators made off with over $130,000 worth of store merchandise.