Armed rob­ber to serve 8 years

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) - - FRONT PAGE - By Ran­dall Beach

NEW HAVEN — Af­ter plead­ing guilty to charges stem­ming from an armed rob­bery of an AT&T store in East Haven, David Brock­en­berry has been sen­tenced to serve eight years in prison.

Brock­en­berry, now 28, of New Haven, and an uniden­ti­fied ac­com­plice walked into the store on Foxon Boule­vard at about 10:35 a.m. on Aug. 6, 2016, po­lice said. Brock­en­berry was car­ry­ing a black semi­au­to­matic hand­gun; both men wore ski masks.

The store man­ager told po­lice that the first per­pe­tra­tor who came in pointed the gun at him and a cus­tomer. The armed man told the pair to go into the of­fice in the rear of the store.

The man­ager told the po­lice de­tec­tive that while he was leav­ing his work­sta­tion to go to the of­fice, he ac­ti­vated the silent alarm un­der the counter. When the man­ager and cus­tomer went to the of­fice with the gun­man, the gun­man or­dered them onto the ground.

Mean­while, the man­ager stated, the sec­ond per­pe­tra­tor, who was car­ry­ing a cam­ou­flage, cloth bag, came into the of­fice, went to the safe and loaded the bag with Ap­ple IPhones and an IPad. Po­lice said the to­tal value of those items was $28,456.

But the man­ager noted one of the phone boxes con­tained a GPS track­ing de­vice. This would au­to­mat­i­cally send a lo­ca­tion sig­nal to a mon­i­tor­ing com­pany, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of which would im­me­di­ately re­lay the de­vice’s lo­ca­tion to po­lice.

A video sur­veil­lance cam­era showed that dur­ing the rob­bery a

woman en­tered the store. The gun­man ap­proached her, pointed the gun at her and or­dered her to go to the rear of the store. But the woman turned and ran out of the store. The gun­man chased her briefly, then gave up and came back into the store, telling his ac­com­plice it was time to leave.

But be­fore they left, the gun­man told the man­ager to show him where the cash drawer was lo­cated. The gun­man then took $390 from the drawer. Both men fled. A wit­ness said they got into a sil­ver Nis­san Max­ima and sped away.

East Haven po­lice of­fi­cers re­sponded to the scene in response to the AT&T alarm and a 911 call from “a con­cerned cit­i­zen,” ac­cord­ing to the ar­rest war­rant. Us­ing the in­for­ma­tion from the GPS, New Haven of­fi­cers saw a gray Nis­san Max­ima on Bas­sett Street near Winch­ester Av­enue. Af­ter they lost track of the ve­hi­cle, they found it parked and un­oc­cu­pied on Shel­ton Av­enue. Of­fi­cers saw the cam­ou­flage cloth bag in­side the locked car.

Po­lice then called in a ca­nine tracker, who took of­fi­cers to a yard on Shel­ton Av­enue, over a fence and to a back­yard on But­ler Street. There the of­fi­cers saw a blue sweat­shirt on the ground match­ing the one worn by the gun­man.

Shortly af­ter po­lice found the car, a New Haven po­lice de­tec­tive re­ported there was a sur­veil­lance video­tape from a con­ve­nience store near Shel­ton Av­enue show­ing a man sim­i­lar in ap­pear­ance to the East Haven store rob­ber.

The man­ager of the con­ve­nience store told po­lice that the man was sweaty and ner­vous as he grabbed a bot­tle of wa­ter. He re­port­edly asked the man­ager to close the store and said he would pay him $50 to give him a ride out of the area.

The man­ager said he thought he was go­ing to get robbed, so he picked up a knife and kept in it his hand, out of view of his ner­vous cus­tomer.

Ac­cord­ing to the manger, the ner­vous man kept check­ing out­side, as if he was look­ing for po­lice cars. But then he left.

When po­lice came into the con­ve­nience store not long af­ter­ward, they viewed the sur­veil­lance tape. It showed the ner­vous sus­pect wear­ing a T-shirt with the mes­sage “Sorry, not every­one can be me” in red let­ters. Ac­cord­ing to the war­rant, his shoes were sim­i­lar to that worn by the gun­man in the East Haven rob­bery 21 min­utes be­fore the ner­vous man had come into the con­ve­nience store.

The tape showed the ner­vous man had a dark­col­ored hand­gun tucked into his waist­band and was car­ry­ing a large wad of cash in his pants pocket.

Sev­eral days later, a New Haven po­lice of­fi­cer viewed a photo from the con­ve­nience store video­tape and iden­ti­fied the ner­vous man as Brock­en­berry. The war­rant noted the FBI’s Safe Streets Gang Task Force had in­ves­ti­gated Brock­en­berry and his as­so­ciates in March and April of 2016.

The war­rant quoted an East Haven po­lice de­tec­tive say­ing he found Brock­en­berry’s Face­book pro­file, con­tain­ing a photo of him wear­ing a blue sweat­shirt that ap­peared to match the one worn by the gun­man in the rob­bery. An­other photo showed Brock­en­berry wear­ing a T-shirt with the mes­sage “Sorry, not every­one can be me.”

Brock­en­berry pleaded guilty to first-de­gree rob­bery and car­ry­ing a pis­tol with­out a per­mit. Su­pe­rior Court Judge Pa­trick J. Clif­ford im­posed a sen­tence of 20 years in prison, to be sus­pended af­ter eight years. Brock­en­berry will then face four years of pro­ba­tion.

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