ELIZABETH, NJ – An East Orange man convicted of robbing a woman at gunpoint in Elizabeth in 2014 has been sentenced to 25 years for the robbery and related offenses, plus eight years on the certain persons charge, with the two terms to be served consecutively, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced on Monday.

Diken Michelle, 30, was convicted in October 2015 on charges including first-degree robbery, related weapons and theft offenses, and a second-degree charge of certain persons not to own firearms. At least 85 percent of the 25-year term and at least five years of the eight-year term also must be served before Michelle becomes eligible for parole.  

The robbery took place January 26, 2014, on Bayway Avenue. Michelle, brandishing a handgun, approached a woman while she was gathering her belongings in her car. He took her purse, cell phone, duffel bag, and other personal belongings before fleeing the scene.

Sign Up for E-News

Elizabeth Police Department patrol units used the “Find my iPhone” app to trace the victim’s cell phone to the 300 block of South Front Street in Elizabeth, where they found Michelle and arrested him. The victim identified Michelle as the person responsible, and her personal belongings were recovered from Michelle’s nearby parked car.

The next day, police found a handgun matching the description of that used in the robbery in a snowbank, not far from where Michelle and his car were found.