Man convicted of robbing employee of Verizon Store

NEWARK, NJ — Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore Stephens II announced June 11 that an Essex County jury has convicted Wahiduddin Kimbrough, 34, of Newark, of first-degree robbery, second-degree conspiracy and third-degree attempted escape following a trial before Superior Court Judge Michael Ravin.

According to Assistant Prosecutor Romil Devang Amin, who tried the case, on Dec. 19, 2017, the defendant along with an unidentified individual went to the Verizon Store in the 700 block of Broad Street in Newark at approximately 6:45 p.m., just before closing, and robbed the store employee at gunpoint.

The defendant entered the store and inquired about purchasing an iPhone for his girlfriend. He left the store and told the clerk that he would come back with the subscriber information. He came back a few minutes later. Moments after he entered the store, the masked co-defendant came in the store. He pointed a gun at the victim and ordered him to go to the back of the store. During this time, the defendant, went through the cash register and took $1,018, a display phone, an iPad and several SIM cards.

The defendant also went to the back of the store and began yelling at the victim who could not open the safe. The defendant then attempted to destroy the recording equipment. Throughout the entire time, the defendant was ordering the co-defendant to shoot the victim if he did not open the safe. The victim could not open the safe because the handle broke.

Both men fled the store. The victim then locked himself in the bathroom and called 9-1-1. Information was circulated, including a photograph, and Kimbrough was arrested after Newark police received a tip. The defendant was arrested Feb. 2, 2018. He gave a recorded statement on that day. When the defendant was being processed at 480 Clinton Ave., he attempted to escape from custody.

“This case was successfully prosecuted because of the cooperation of the victim, tremendous work by law enforcement authorities, and the hard work and diligence of the jurors who had to be here for 28 days during jury selection and trial,” Amin said. “Because of this defendant’s long criminal history, he faces a substantial time in prison when he is sentenced.”

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 9. Kimbrough, who has six prior felony convictions, faces a minimum of 20 years in New Jersey State Prison.