Police: Man charged with robbery after he allegedly steals $9.20 in merchandise, threatens employees

A robbery charge against Thomas Helsley, 48, was reduced to petty theft and assault, according to Middletown Municipal Court records.

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A robbery charge against Thomas Helsley, 48, was reduced to petty theft and assault, according to Middletown Municipal Court records.

A Middletown man was charged with robbery after he allegedly threatened female employees and a customer at Family Dollar, 1224 Girard Ave.

Thomas Helsley, 48, was found riding his bike after allegedly stealing $9.20 worth of merchandise on Dec. 23, according to a police report.

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At his preliminary hearing Wednesday afternoon in Middletown Municipal Court, the robbery charge was reduced to petty theft and assault, according to court records. Judge James Sherron suspended the 180 days for petty theft and sentenced Helsley to 90 days for assault with 60 days suspended. He also was placed on one-year probation.

Employees told police Helsley concealed some items and when he walked out of the store, he set off the anti-theft scanner. That’s when Helsley allegedly pushed an employee and raised his arm, indicting her was going to hit her. He ran out of the store and the female employee followed him.

A customer tried to stop Helsley, but he got on his bike.

Police reported Helsley allegedly stole a Reese’s snack, valued at $1, an LED utility light, valued at $5, a Coca-Cola, valued at $1.95, and electrical tape, valued at $1.25.

Police watched the video and it showed Helsley “using force” against the employees and a customer.