SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that two Detroit, Michigan men were sentenced in federal court today for robbing a Springfield jewelry store.
Justin B. Anderson, 33, and Mark Anthone Pitts, 32, both of Detroit, were sentenced in separate appearances before U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips. Anderson and Pitts were each sentenced to five years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered them to pay $78,374, for which they are jointly and severally liable.
Anderson and Pitts each pleaded guilty to robbing Maxon’s Diamond Merchants, 2622 S. Glenstone Ave., on Sept. 1, 2016.
An unknown African-American male was buzzed through the secured front door of the jewelry store. When the man entered the store, he refused to close the front door. Employees approached the male, telling him to close the door. When the individual refused to shut the door, the employees attempted to push him out of the store. The male then physically shoved an employee as he kept the front door open.
Anderson and Pitts then entered the store. They pulled out small sledgehammers, causing employees to retreat from the front of the store out of fear of being harmed. Anderson and Pitts used the sledgehammers to break the glass counters and display cases that contained Rolex watches. Anderson and Pitts then grabbed several Rolex watches and fled from the store. Officers later determined that 11 Rolex watches, valued at a total of $118,000, were stolen in the robbery.
Cell phone video from a store employee showed the getaway car, a 2000 Dodge Stratus that had been stolen from a local Target department store earlier that day, waiting for the three men. Anderson and Pitts, however, failed to escape in the getaway car, which left the scene without them. Pitts was arrested after store employees who followed him took police officers to his location.
Pitts told officers that he did not specifically threaten an employee of Maxon’s, but if they had actively resisted the robbery, he would have used his sledgehammer to physically assault the employees.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick Carney and Nhan D. Nguyen. It was investigated by the FBI and the Springfield Police Department.