EDISON, NJ – A township man is guilty of robbing the Payless Shoe Store in Linden.
According to a press release from the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, Mervin Fitzgerald, 51, of Edison was found guilty by a Union County jury Thursday of first-degree kidnapping, second-degree robbery following a two-week trial.
Police said that Fitzgerald and another man entered the Payless Shoe Store on Routes 1 and 9 in Linden at 7:40 p.m., Dec. 31, 2012, and forced two then 18-year-old employees into a back room.
The employees were ordered to lay down on the floor and then tied together.
Fitzgerald and the other man took about $200 cash and fled.
A customer entered the store, found the bound employees, and called 911, police said.
DNA evidence and eyewitness accounts led police to Fitzgerald, who was arrested and charged in April 2014.
He was indicted on the charges in August of that year.
The other suspect remains at large, police said.
Fitzgerald is scheduled to be sentenced on May 12 and faces up to 30 years in prison on the kidnapping charge, police said.
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