A 39-year-old Assonet man who robbed a Freetown convenience store and a Fall River grocery store on consecutive days in February of 2017 was sentenced to serve up to four years in state prison last week, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.
Joseph Stec pleaded guilty in Fall River Superior Court to indictments charging him with two counts of unarmed robbery.
On February 20, 2017, the defendant entered into Grandpa’s Convenience Store in Freetown and reached into his coat as if he had a gun or a knife. The defendant demanded that the clerk empty his cash drawer and hand him all the cash. The defendant fled the area with $500. On the next day, Fall River Police were called to a Shaw’s grocery store for a report of a robbery. In that case, the defendant approached one of the store clerks and demanded all the cash in his cashier’s drawer. He told the victim, “You have three seconds. You don’t want to know what happens to you.” After taking an undetermined amount of cash, the defendant fled the scene.
Fall River Police were able to obtain surveillance video of the robbery and posted it on social media. The department received numerous responses, identifying the robber as this defendant.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney William Flynn III and the three-and-a-half to four-year state prison term was imposed by Judge Thomas Perrino. The defendant was also placed on probation for an additional two years.
“The defendant’s robbery of two stores endangered the safety of customers and employees,” District Attorney Quinn said. “He stole $500 from the convenience store, which interfered with people just trying to make a living and conduct a business without fear.”