By Doug Ireland
---- — BRENTWOOD — A Lawrence man was sentenced to two to four years in state prison yesterday for threatening a Salem store employee with a syringe and claiming he had AIDS.
Victor Deleon, 40, pleaded guilty to felony armed robbery and theft charges as part of an agreement with prosecutors in Rockingham Superior Court, according to County Attorney James Reams.
Deleon’s sentence will be deferred for a year upon the condition he successfully complete the drug treatment program he is in, Reams said.
He must also stay away Lowe’s on South Broadway in Salem and the employee he threatened, Reams said. Deleon would be placed on probation for two years upon his release.
Deleon was arrested on Cedar Street in Lawrence a day after he and another man tried to steal saw blades from Lowe’s on Feb. 5.
When approached by a store security worker, Deleon waved a hypodermic needle at the him and yelled, “I have AIDS” several times, according to Salem Deputy police Chief Shawn Patten.
The employee backed off and Deleon and Victor Garcia, 32, also of Lawrence, fled.
Store employees were able to get the license plate from the getaway car, Lawrence police tracked Deleon down a short time later.
Deleon was then identified through store surveillance video and offered no resistance when arrested.
Deleon was represented in court by public defender Deanna Campbell.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant County Attorney Brad Bolton.
If convicted at trial, Deleon faced seven and half to 15 years in prison on the robbery charge and three and a half to seven years on the theft charge.
Deleon has an extensive criminal record in Massachusetts, according to police.