Mass. man who used syringe in Salem robbery is sentenced
BRENTWOOD — A man who threatened a store security worker in Salem with a syringe while claiming he had AIDS was sentenced Monday to a 2- to 4-year prison term that will be deferred so he can complete a drug treatment program.
Victor Deleon, 39, of Lawrence, Mass., pleaded guilty to felony robbery and theft charges on Monday in Rockingham County Superior Court as part of a plea agreement that recommended the deferred prison sentence, according to County Attorney James Reams.
Deleon will have to face a judge again in a year to ask that his prison sentence not be imposed.
Prosecutors say Deleon’s use of the needle during an attempt to shoplift saw blades from a Lowe’s department store on Feb. 5 could have been considered “a deadly weapon” to the victim.
Craig Brewer, a loss prevention worker, confronted Deleon and his alleged partner inside the store but backed away once Deleon took the needle from his pocket and said, “I have AIDS,” prosecutors said.
Deleon fled from Lowe’s store, located on Route 28, along with his alleged partner, Victor Garcia, 32, of Lawrence, Mass., who is being sought by police.
Salem police said the two men were suspected of stealing from several Lowe’s stores in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
As part of the negotiated plea deal, Deleon will be required to complete a drug treatment program, have no contact with Brown and pay the store restitution, Reams said.
Deleon will remain on probation for two years.
A grand jury indicted him on single counts of robbery and theft by unauthorized taking.
The robbery charge was punishable by up to 7½ to 15 years in state prison. The theft charge carries a 3½- to 7-year prison term.
Lawrence police detectives identified Deleon shortly after the robbery using surveillance photos released by Salem firstname.lastname@example.org