Philadelphia man sentenced to jail for Bellefonte, Snow Shoe store robberies

A Philadelphia man was sentenced to prison Thursday for robberies of Snow Shoe and Bellefonte convenience stores last year.

Centre County Judge Jonathan D. Grine sentenced Eric A. Brown, 26, to 8 to 20 years in a state correctional facility for the robberies. Brown pleaded guilty to two counts of felony robbery, one count of felony theft by unlawful taking and one count of misdemeanor simple assault.

The first robbery occurred Aug. 15, 2013, at a Citgo in Snow Shoe. Brown asked for cigarettes at the counter, but walked away to the drink cooler when a customer walked into the store.

Brown came back with a drink after the customer left and again asked for cigarettes. He then pulled a gun on a store employee, demanded money and fled. Police later identified Brown by prints left on the bottle.

The second robbery took place Aug. 26 of that year at Centre Mart in Bellefonte. He pepper-sprayed an employee in the face before he ran out of the store with a cash register. Bellefonte police found pieces of the register and a pellet gun next to the Centre Mart when they responded.

Brown was on state parole at the time of the robberies for a previous theft he committed in Philadelphia in 2007.