Man gets jail in connection with phoney robbery

ESCANABA – A Gladstone man was sentenced Tuesday to 106 days in jail – the time he’s already served – in connection with an alleged robbery at the Grain ‘N’ Grape last summer. The sentencing was handed down in Delta County Circuit Court.

Cory Michael Vanderlinden, 26, admitted to lying to police when he helped hide evidence from what turned out to be an “inside job” at the convenience store on Aug. 1, 2012.

The store clerk, Annaelise Marie Ambrose, 23, of Escanaba, took money from the cash register and gave it to her friend, Abby Beth Johnson, 21, also of Escanaba. After waiting a few minutes, Ambrose activated the store’s silent alarm. Ambrose knew of Johnson’s plans.

When police arrived, Ambrose lied about what happened, saying she was robbed at gunpoint by a masked man who demanded money and then fled the store. Liquor and cigarettes were also taken.

When approached by his friends, Vanderlinden said he helped hide the stolen items and then lied to police. Prior to being sentenced Tuesday, he apologized to the store owner for not being responsible when he should have been.

In addition to the jail time already served, Judge Stephen Davis ordered Vanderlinden to pay $598 in fines and costs. Restitution will be determined for all three defendants.

Johnson was sentenced in May to serve a year in the county jail for her role in the conspiracy to commit larceny at the store located at 6998 U.S.2/41 and M-35. She was also ordered to pay $1,854 in fines and costs.

Ambrose will be sentenced July 24 on one count of attempted larceny in a building and one count of lying to a police officer investigating a larceny. Each charge carries a maximum punishment of two years in prison.

The three were arrested on Feb. 7 after the Delta County Sheriff Department received a tip on the robbery through the Crimestoppers website.

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Jenny Lancour, (906) 786-2021, ext. 143,