Maplewood Shopkeeper Shooter Gets Nearly 19 Years in 3-County Crime Spree

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A Newark man was sentenced Wednesday to 225 months in prison for a three-county crime spree that included 17 armed robberies, an armed carjacking, and the April 2013 shooting of a Maplewood shopkeeper. The crimes occurred in Essex, Bergen and Union county towns including West Orange, Bloomfield, and Belleville between Dec. 29, 2012 and May 20, 2013.

Bobby Dawson, 31, had previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls to one count of committing an armed carjacking, one count of conspiring to commit Hobbs Act robberies and one count of discharging a firearm during the commission of one of those robberies, according to an announcement Wednesday from U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman.

“A dangerous criminal is off the streets,” said Maplewood Police Chief Robert Cimino in a phone interview. “This is a good example of police cooperation…I want to credit our detectives and acknowledge the good work they did with the FBI, which lead to the FBI ultimately deciding to charge him.”

Along with conspirators, Dawon robbed convenience stores, liquor stores, gas stations and pharmacies at gunpoint, stealing cash, cigarettes and other items. In 15 of the 17 robberies, Dawson and his conspirators used zip-ties or duct tape to restrain their victims, said Fishman.

On April 1, 2013, Dawson shot Ken Parmar, the beloved owner of MS&K Confectionary on Prospect Street off Springfield Avenue. Dawson threatened Parmar with a .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun and when the shopkeeper resisted, Dawson fired his gun at the him, ordered him to lie down and then stole $9,000 from the cash register, said Fishman.

Parmar eventually recovered from his injuries.

“This is a bad guy who deserves to be in jail for a long time,” said Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca. “I applaud the Maplewood Police Department for their investigative role in the MS&K robbery and shooting and their cooperation with other law enforcement agencies. I am also glad that Kenny has recovered from his injuries.”

Interviewed at his store today, Parmar politely declined to comment on the sentencing. However, he did confirm that has put his store on the market, although he said his decision had nothing to do with the shooting.

“I’ve been here a long time, since 1995, and I haven’t had a vacation in all that time,” said Parmar. “I want to do something else.” He said after a break, he will contemplate his next step.

Told that his many loyal customers would miss him, Parmar said, “I’m going to miss them, too.”

Dawson committed an armed robbery of a Krauszers store in West Orange on April 24, 2013 where he and a conspirator tied up three people in the store with zip-ties before stealing around $600 and cigarettes. Dawson injured a store employee by hitting the victim in the head with his firearm.

The judge also sentenced Dawson to serve three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $72,518 in restitution.

Fishman thanked special agents of the FBI as well as the Belleville, Bloomfield, Kearny, Linden, Maplewood, Newark, Paramus, Verona and West Orange police departments, the New Jersey State Police and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, for their work on this case.


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