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Craigslist Robber Sentenced to 12 to 24 Years in State Prison

June 6, 2016


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Antonetta Stancu, 215.348.6340, astancu@buckscounty.org

A drug addict who placed a Craigslist used-car ad to lure victims to Bristol Township, where he robbed them at gunpoint, was sentenced today to serve 12 to 24 years in state prison.

Shawn Christopher McShane, 29, of Ocean City, N.J., also admitted to assaulting a police officer and to illegally possessing a firearm.

McShane pleaded guilty in Bucks County Common Pleas Court to two counts of robbery, one count of aggravated assault and one count of persons not to possess firearms – all first- or second-degree felonies.

“I feel sorry for everyone involved,” McShane told Bucks County Judge Rea B. Boylan before being sentenced. “I didn’t mean to hurt anyone. My only concern was getting high. I need help.”

Boylan told McShane that his crimes were not simply the impulsive acts of a person trying to feed a drug habit. Rather, she said, his robberies required considerable planning, involved a deadly weapon, and left the victims terrorized.

On Jan. 25, McShane committed two robberies in less than one hour after prospective car-buyers responded to an ad McShane had placed on Craigslist for a 2004 Honda Civic.

At McShane’s direction, a 26-year-old Chester County man arrived at about 7:30 p.m. on Naomi Court in Levittown, hoping to inspect and purchase the vehicle.

Instead, McShane directed the victim to a parking lot, where he pulled a silver and black handgun and demanded money. The victim gave McShane $4,200 in cash, a cell phone and a wallet containing his identification and debit cards.

About an hour later, McShane accosted two Camden men, ages 39 and 37, who also had answered the car ad. After instructing them to meet him in the 300 block of Western Avenue, McShane pulled his handgun and forced the men to surrender $4,600 in fifty dollar bills that they had brought to purchase the Honda.

Later that night, Bristol Township Detectives Timothy Furhrmann and Gregory Beidler spotted a man matching McShane’s description at the Stadium Bar and Grill on Veterans Highway. While watching the man, the detectives called the cell phone number that had been used in the Craigslist ad.

When McShane picked up the phone and silently held it to his ear, the detectives arrested him and wrestled him into handcuffs. McShane was found to be carrying two bundles of cash totaling more than $5,300, a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun, the first victim’s driver’s license and debit card, marijuana, and more than $600 in his wallet. 

After being taken to the Bristol Township Police Department, McShane attacked Officer Jason Reilly in a bid to escape from a holding cell. Reilly suffered chest injuries in the attack, Deputy District Attorney Antonetta Stancu said in court.

Stancu noted that McShane has an adult criminal history of drug, assault and firearms convictions dating to 2006, in addition to a juvenile record. “Almost all of his past criminal contacts involve a gun,” Stancu told Boylan. “It’s the same behavior, over and over.”

McShane blamed his crimes on drug addiction. He said he was using heroin, Xanax and alcohol the night of the Bristol Township robberies.

Boylan sentenced McShane to serve consecutive six- to 12-year prison sentences for each of the two robberies, a concurrent five- to 10-year sentence for the firearms violation, and a concurrent 18 months to three years for the assault on Officer Reilly.

Approved for release by Michele Kelly Walsh, Deputy District Attorney.

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