AUBURN — A Lewiston man who robbed a Main Street Big Apple store in December was sentenced Thursday to serve three years in prison.

Scott Britton, 21, of 81 Horton St. pleaded guilty to felony robbery in Androscoggin County Superior Court. Active-Retired Justice Robert Clifford approved the sentence worked out between prosecutors and defense of eight years, with five years of that time suspended, plus three years of probation. The crime carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

During his probation, Britton will be required to refrain from having alcohol and illegal drugs and may be searched at random for both. He will be barred from any Big Apple store and may have no contact with the clerk he robbed Dec. 8 shortly after 2:30 a.m. with a gun that he later told police was “fake” after he threw it into the Androscoggin River.

He must abide during probation to an 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew and live at an address approved by his probation officer. He also will be required to undergo substance abuse and mental health evaluation and counseling.

Police said a man fitting Britton’s description wearing a hoodie entered the store armed with what was believed to be a revolver. He walked up to the front counter and pointed the handgun at the clerk and told him in a “very soft” tone to give Britton “all the money.”

The clerk opened the register and handed the robber roughly $81, police said. The man fled the store and ran into Bonney Park next door, where the clerk lost sight of him.

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Shortly after the robbery, police spoke to Hayden Hodgkins, 21, of 641 Sabattus St. who remained in the store. He told police he had gone there to buy a Honey Bun pastry. He said he heard a “commotion” at the counter and saw a man in a gray sweatshirt run out the front door.

Police reviewed surveillance videos from cameras inside and outside the store. Video showed Hodgkins and Britton headed to the rear of the store where they likely would have met up before the robbery. Hodgkins walked to the front of the store, with Britton following about 30 seconds later, police said.

In video from cameras inside the store, police could see Hodgkins enter and walk to the coolers; soon after, a man identified as Britton walked to the counter and pointed what looked like a black revolver at the clerk, who handed him cash from the register.

Video from one of the exterior cameras showed Britton meeting up with a man in Bonney Park who appeared to have acted as lookout, police said. The two fled north and ran through the park down to the Riverwalk.

Police believed Britton and Hodgkins were associates, Assistant District Attorney Andrew Matulis told the judge. Police later talked to Hodgkins at his home where he admitted that he and Britton had agreed to rob the Big Apple store, Matulis said. A third man, Roy Albert, 23, of Auburn, who served as lookout, provided the “fake” gun, Matulis said.

Britton was arrested and spoke with police, admitting his part in the holdup. He said he robbed the store because he needed money to buy food. He had gotten the “fake pistol” from a friend, then tossed it in the river after the robbery, he told police.

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After the robbery, the three men met and split the money, Britton said.

As a requirement of his probation, Britton must repay the Big Apple $81, or part of that amount if Roy and/or Hodgkins are convicted in the case.

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Scott Britton, left, pleaded guilty in Androscoggin County Superior Court on Thursday to robbing a Big Apple store in Auburn. At center is his lawyer, Patrick Nickerson. Christopher Williams/Sun Journal)


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