|| ST. THOMAS, V.I. – A St. Thomas man was sentenced Friday for last October’s armed robbery of Domino’s Pizza restaurant located at Tutu Park Mall.
Tyrone Thomas, 30, of no known address, was arrested and charged with one count each of first-degree robbery, first-degree assault, attempted third-degree robbery, grand larceny and using a dangerous weapon during a crime of violence for the Oct. 22, 2015, robbery.
Thomas’ trial began on May 3, 2016 and during jury deliberations, Thomas accepted a plea agreement offered by Attorney General Claude Earl Walker and pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery. The remaining counts against him were dismissed. The plea offer also recommended an eight-year prison sentence.
V.I. Superior Court Judge Kathleen Mackay, in sentencing Thomas to 10 years behind bars with credit for time served, said she could not overlook his rap sheet and the charge that he pleaded guilty to. Thomas, who remained in jail since his arrest, was immediately remanded to the Bureau of Corrections.
In an affidavit detailing the incident, Det. Sofia Rachid wrote that Thomas went into the restaurant, pointed what appeared to be a gun wrapped inside a cloth at one of the employees and demanded the employee give him the money from the cash register. Thomas then ordered another employee to open the safe, but after he was told the safe does not work, he left the restaurant and fled the area on foot.
Shortly after the robbery, police found Thomas in the area of the former KC Movies located in Four Winds Plaza and arrested him. At the police station, the two restaurant employees positively identified Thomas as the robber, according to Rachid.
Police also recovered the laundry bag with the $491.70 taken from the restaurant’s cash register after they overheard Thomas telling someone on the phone where the bag with the money was hidden. Inside the bag, police also found a straw hat and a black bag wrapped around a hammer to resemble the shape of a firearm, according to Rachid.
Thomas has an extensive criminal history, which dates back to 2009; however, in accordance with the plea agreement, he was not sentenced under the habitual offender statute.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Nadja Harrigan.