- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) - A Fort Wayne teenager has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for a string of holdups he committed after luring victims through the online service Craigslist.

An Allen County judge on Tuesday ordered that 18-year-old Tahj Thomas serve consecutive 10-year sentences for five armed robberies committed between August 2013 and May 2014.

Thomas pleaded guilty last month to the charges. Prosecutors say he placed Craigslist ads offering to sell PlayStation or Xbox video game systems, then when he met with the would-be buyers, he put a gun to their heads and took their money, credit cards and cellphones.

The Journal Gazette and The News-Sentinel report Thomas’ mother asked the judge for mercy, saying he could learn from his mistakes. But Judge John Surbeck said Thomas was preying on people.

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