Police & Fire

Three Defendants Sentenced to Nearly 70 Years for Violent Scrap Metal Yard Robbery

7258f9ee6d826af8b1eb_WEB_Police_Car.jpg
Credits: Fran Sullivan
7258f9ee6d826af8b1eb_WEB_Police_Car.jpg

ELIZABETH, NJ-- Three defendants that were charged in connection with a violent 2014 robbery of an Elizabeth scrap metal yard have been sentenced to a total of nearly 70 years in prison, acting Union County Prosecutor Thomas Isenhour announced today.

State Superior Court Judge Robert Kirsch on Friday sentenced Rafael Clemmons, 30, of Irvington to 25 years in state prison while Steven Chambers, 32, and Sharod Saunders, 43, both of Newark, received terms of 22 years each.

On April 18, 2014, Elizabeth Police Department patrol units responded to the Bayway Scrap Metal yard on Amboy Avenue.  When they arrived at the scene, they found multiple victims who reported that they had been held hostage by several men wearing gloves, overalls, and masks. The victims also reported that the men were carrying three handguns and an assault rifle, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Jeremiah Lenihan, who prosecuted the case.

Sign Up for E-News

The defendants physically assaulted and threatened the owner of the business and her husband, both of whom were in their 60s, before binding them and four others in the store.  The victims were tied up with zip ties as the defendants stole their personal property, including wallets and cash, Lenihan said.

According to authorities, the six victims then were held captive for approximately 90 minutes, and one customer was pistol-whipped until he became unconscious, the others were told that they were “going to die together.”

The defendants then loaded more than 600 catalytic converters valued at approximately $100,000 into a rented commercial vehicle and then fled the area in that vehicle and a pickup truck stolen from the parking lot outside the scrap metal yard.

Moments later, the defendants were spotted by police heading northbound on U.S. Routes 1 and 9, resulting in a brief pursuit. During the pursuit, one of the defendant's vehicles crashed with a police vehicle. Four of the five defendants were arrested and transported to Union County Jail on $1 million dollars in bail each. The fifth defendant, 28-year- old Anthony Brailsford of Irvington, remained at large until he was arrested in February 2017.



Earlier this year Brailsford was sentenced to eight years in state prison for his role in the robbery, while 25-year- old Michael Howard of Newark received a term of 10 years. All five defendants must serve at least 85 percent of their terms before the possibility of parole under the provisions of New Jersey’s No Early Release Act.

TAPintoElizabeth.net is Elizabeth’s free daily news source. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TAPElizabeth and Twitter @TAPElizabeth. 

 

Download the TAPinto App!   Click here for Android.  Click here for iOS.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Elizabeth

National Weather Service Issues Heat Advisory Through 6 p.m. Tuesday July 17

July 16, 2018

NEW YORK, NY, - The National Weather Service issued a 'Heat Advisory' this morning for Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Union and Hudson Counties in New Jersey. The heat advisory will remain in effect from noon Monday July 16 until 6 p.m. Tuesday July 17.

Extreme heat can cause illness and death among at- risk population who cannot stay cool. The heat and humidity may cause heat stress during ...

Roselle Man Charged with Multiple Counts of Animal Cruelty After Search Finds Over 40 Dogs Living in Squalor

July 11, 2018

ROSELLE, NJ - Charges have been filed on the Roselle man found with more than 40 dogs living in severely unsanitary and inhumane living conditions in his home last month said acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan.

Authorities say, Evelio J. Calderon, 40, is charged with than 30 criminal offenses that include two 3rd-degree animal cruelty offenses, 14 counts of 4th-degree animal ...

Cranford Jaycees Annual Golf Outing Raises Money For Community

July 18, 2018

CRANFORD - The Township of Cranford Junior Chamber of Commerce (“Jaycees”) held their 12th Annual Golf Outing on Friday, June 22, 2018, at the Galloping Hill Golf Course in Kenilworth. The outing raised $8,000.00 which will benefit two worthy community organizations, the Cranford Baseball and Softball League Inc. and the Union County Educational Services Commission ...

"Tired of cronyism? Yeah, us too!"

July 19, 2018

The Union County Freeholders’ decision to appoint State Senator and newly-elected Union County Democratic Chairman, Nick Scutari’s chief of staff, Ed Oatman as County Manager smelled of corruption from the start. To place a political consultant like Oatman in the role of overseeing 2,800 employees and running the day-to-day operations of the $500 million county budget suggests ...

Step Up and Build a Stronger Union County

July 20, 2018

Union County residents who are seeking a meaningful, high-impact way to volunteer in their community can sign up as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson and Union Counties.

The organization is currently seeking volunteer mentors for its best-known program, Community Based Mentoring. The program involves individual mentoring with a local child or teen, age 6 to 18, with a ...