Niles man sentenced for taking money from gas station clerk

Published 9:21 am Tuesday, October 20, 2015

It has been said that crime does not pay and that is certainly the case for Anthony Maurice Sharp.

The 30-year-old Niles man was sentenced to 120 days in jail and ordered to pay more than $2,300 in fines and court costs — all for stealing $41 from a Niles gas station in September.

Anthony Maurice Sharp

Anthony Maurice Sharp

“It’s not a whole lot of money for risking to go to prison for 15 years,” said Berrien County Judge Dennis Wiley before handing down the sentence Monday in Berrien County Court in Niles.

Sharp was originally charged with one count of unarmed robbery, but pleaded guilty Sept. 21 to a lesser charge of larceny from a person.

The charge stems from an incident at the Admiral Gas Station at 1701 Oak St. in Niles just after midnight Sept. 8.

Sharp entered the gas station, grabbed a female clerk and ordered her to open the cash register.

Sharp got away with $41, but was arrested the next day after a witness recognized him from video surveillance, according to police.

Sharp apologized for his behavior and said he was intoxicated at the time of the incident.

“I am not a thug, I am not a menace to society,” he told the judge.

Wiley disagreed.

“I think you are becoming a menace to society,” said Wiley before reading from a list of Sharp’s previous charges, which include retail fraud, malicious destruction of property, resisting and obstructing police and several for domestic violence.

Defense attorney Jason Ingram said his client could benefit from controlling his drinking problem.

“I think if he gets a handle on that it will be a long time before you see him again,” Ingram said.

In addition to the 120-day jail sentence, Sharp was also placed on probation for three years.

The judge also ordered Sharp to successfully complete a probation enhancement program after being released from jail.