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17-year-old sentenced in Laurel gun store burglary

A Prince George’s County teenager will serve just under two years in prison for a burglary at Fox Firearms in Laurel last year, according to the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Antonio “TJ” Matthews, 17, of Lanham, pleaded guilty in Howard County Circuit Court in March to burglary and illegal possession of regulated firearms, according to a State’s Attorney’s Office news release.

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Judge Richard Bernhardt sentenced Matthews on Thursday to 12 years with all but 22 months suspended, plus three years of supervised probation, according to online court records.

Howard County police were called to Fox Firearms in the 11200 block of Scaggsville Road in Laurel on June 12, 2019, after a report of an alarm. According to police, a stolen van had crashed through the front entrance of the store and video surveillance showed four individuals stealing 18 firearms from the store.

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A similar incident took place at the United Gun Shop in Rockville the following night, according to Montgomery County police, where a vehicle crashed through the entrance of the store. Police said evidence was found that linked Matthews to both crimes.

Matthews was sentenced to 20 years with all but 18 months suspended in the Montgomery County case, according to online court records, and will serve consecutive sentences for his crimes in both counties.

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