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Two men sentenced to prison for Cloquet store robbery

Two Duluth men have been sentenced to prison for their roles in an armed robbery last August at the Fig Tree Garden and Home Decor store in Cloquet. Rico Gause, 38, was sentenced Dec. 23 in Carlton County Court to 60 months in prison after being ...

Two Duluth men have been sentenced to prison for their roles in an armed robbery last August at the Fig Tree Garden and Home Decor store in Cloquet.

Rico Gause, 38, was sentenced Dec. 23 in Carlton County Court to 60 months in prison after being convicted on one felony count of first-degree aggravated robbery. Judge Dale Wolf also ordered Gause to pay restitution and $210 in court fees. He will be given credit for 130 days already served.

Shane Patrick Anderson, 23, was sentenced Jan. 2 to 41 months in prison, with credit for 139 days served. Judge Robert Macaulay ordered him to pay restitution and $160 in court fees.

Two women also were implicated in the robbery.

Geri Mathison, 30, of Duluth was sentenced Oct. 7 to 24 months in prison for first-degree conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery. Judge Macaulay stayed the sentence for three years and ordered that Mathison serve three years of supervised probation. She also was sentenced to six months of local confinement, with credit for 51 days served. She must pay restitution to the victim and pay $310 in court fees.

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A second accomplice, Sydney Lakatos, 21, of Duluth, pleaded guilty Dec. 30 to first-degree conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, and she is scheduled for sentencing in February.

The criminal complaints filed against the four stated that the robbery was reported just before 6 p.m. Aug. 16 by an employee of the business. Police responded to the store on Minnesota Highway 33.

The employee told authorities she was working the front counter of the store when two men entered the business. Both were wearing camouflage masks across their faces. One brandished a semi-automatic handgun and held it up to her while demanding she open the register. The other then went behind the counter to watch the employee after she was told to dump out the money from the register as well as from her purse, which had been sitting on the counter.

The employee said the men then departed and she called 911 as soon as they were out of sight.

Authorities later learned that Lakatos and Mathison had waited in the car while Gause and Anderson donned masks and went inside the store with a gun.

The four later were apprehended during a traffic stop just north of Cromwell.

According to court records, Gause was convicted of second-degree burglary in St. Louis County on March 26, 2010, and was sentenced to 33 months in prison. He received a stayed sentence of five years and was ordered to complete five years of supervised probation, which he had twice violated at the time he was apprehended for the robbery in Cloquet.

Related Topics: CLOQUETCRIME
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