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Man Gets 4 to 10 Years for Robbery, Carjacking in Bensalem

December 13, 2016


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Christopher Rees, 215.348.6341, cwrees@buckscounty.org

A man who carjacked and robbed one victim and attempted to carjack a second victim was sentenced today to serve a total of four to 10 years in state prison.

Calling Amir Saunders’ actions “horrible” and “despicable,” Bucks County Judge Gary B. Gilman recommended that the defendant be placed in a therapeutic prison community to address the drug dependency that Saunders blamed for his crimes.

“I kind of downplayed my addiction” before being arrested and jailed, Saunders, 23, told Gilman. “I never really saw myself as having a problem when I was on the streets, but it was probably my main problem.”

On Dec. 29, 2015, Saunders accosted a man at about 10:30 p.m. in the parking lot of a Wawa store at 2250 Lincoln Highway in Bensalem. Saunders held a cell phone inside his jacket pocket to make it appear that he had a weapon.

Saunders got into the back seat of the victim’s car and forced him to withdraw money at multiple ATMs in Philadelphia. The victim withdrew $400 before midnight – the daily limit imposed by his bank – and $400 more after midnight.

Saunders then took the wheel and drove the vehicle and the victim back to Bensalem before getting out and running away.

On Jan. 10, 2016, Saunders accosted a woman at the gas pumps of the same Bensalem Wawa. He tried to push the woman into the passenger seat of her vehicle, but she fought Saunders off and he ran away.

After being arrested by Bensalem Township Detectives Michael Moretti and Brian Oliverio, Saunders confessed to both crimes.

Saunders, who was homeless at the time of the crimes, pleaded guilty on Sept. 28 to robbery, kidnapping and simple assault charges.

“I accept responsibility for every action I have taken,” he told Gilman, adding that he had a dependency on Xanax and Percocet. His crimes, Saunders said, were prompted by “selfishness, for more money. I wanted more drugs.”

Deputy District Attorney Christopher Rees noted that Saunders stood convicted of two separate crimes involving two different victims. He asked Gilman to bear in mind “the lasting impact these crimes have had on these victims.”

Gilman sentenced Saunders to serve three to seven years for robbery, and imposed a consecutive one to three years for attempted robbery of a motor vehicle.

“These crimes were based on greed. They were committed to get money,” Gilman told Saunders. “It is a horrible reason to commit any crime.”

The judge told Saunders that he was “at a crossroads in your life,” and that it was up to him to turn himself around. “There is a degree of hope in this sentence,” Gilman said, “because it could have been a lot worse.”

Approved for release by Robert James, Deputy District Attorney.

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