Robber pleads guilty, to get prison time

JOHNSTOWN – One of two female co-defendants charged in connection with robberies in two counties earlier this year pleaded guilty Thursday in Fulton County Court.

Nicole M. Hilts, 29, of 23 Hoosac St., Johnstown, pleaded guilty before Judge Polly A. Hoye to one felony count of second-degree attempted robbery, as part of a plea arrangement.

Sentencing was adjourned until later. She is expected to receive two years in state prison, to run concurrent with unspecified prison time from Montgomery County.

Gloversville police on Feb. 1 arrested Hilts and Stephanie Seeley, 32, of 39 Division St., St. Johnsville, on two counts each of second-degree attempted robbery. Seeley’s case is pending.

Police said that officers responded at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 22 to Jan’s Deli, 142 W. Fulton St., for a report of an attempted robbery. Officers were told by the store clerk that a female, Hilts, entered the store wearing blue pajama pants and a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt with her face covered and demanded cash. The clerk thought the woman had a gun in her hand, police said.

Police said the clerk refused to give Hilts any cash and she left the store, fleeing the scene in a vehicle driven by Seeley that was waiting around the corner.

In another case 15 minutes later, state police said Hilts walked into the ZZ Mart on Route 29A in the town of Johnstown at 3:45 p.m., motioned she had a weapon and demanded money. The clerk did not comply in time, and Hilts fled the store on foot, state police said.

Investigators found the suspects Jan. 25 and interviewed both. Police said the two women committed both attempted robberies Jan. 22 in Fulton County, as well as an actual robbery in Montgomery County on Jan. 14 at a Cumberland Farms store in St. Johnsville.

Village police said Hilts walked into the Cumberland Farms wearing dark clothing and an orange Halloween mask around 2:45 a.m., and demanded the clerk open the register. Hilts said she had a weapon. About $100 was taken during that robbery. Seeley waited outside in a sedan that picked up Hilts after the robbery, police said. A 5-year-old child was inside the vehicle at the time of the incident, police said.

In other County Court cases this week:

Stephanie Hillburn, 38, of Grand Street, Gloversville, was sentenced Thursday by Hoye to one to three years in state prison, based on a plea arrangement. She must also pay an unspecified amount of restitution, in a case involving theft of a woman’s purse and use of her credit card.

The defendant pleaded guilty April 25 to one count of fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.

Hillburn was arrested July 16 by Gloversville police. She was charged with: fourth-degree grand larceny, four counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, three counts of second-degree forgery and four counts of petit larceny.

Police said officers received a report about a stolen purse May 21. Police said Hillburn stole a woman’s purse out of her shopping cart at Price Chopper, using her credit card at Cumberland Farms and the Dollar Store in Gloversville. Video surveillance was also found at both Price Chopper and the two other locations. In total, Hillburn spent $900 on the stolen credit card before it was denied, police said.

Joseph J. Tomlinson, 46, of Second Avenue, Gloversville, pleaded guilty Wednesday before Hoye to third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a felony.

Sentencing was adjourned until a later date, but he is expected to receive one to three years in state prison as part of a plea arrangement.

Tomlinson was arrested March 9 on felony counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property

Officers said they responded to a domestic violence call for service at Tomlinson’s address, which at the time was on Third Avenue. During the course of investigation, officers were told Tomlinson, who was previously convicted of a crime, was in possession of firearm. Due to his previous conviction, Tomlinson was not supposed to possess a firearm.

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