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Apple robbery suspect gets probation after guilty plea

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A two-time felon who was one of the 17 people charged for a robbery scheme earlier this year that targeted Apple retail stores across the state andresulted in the loss of more than $1 million was placed on probation and released Thursday.

Joshua Cole, 19, pleaded guilty on Oct. 22 to felony conspiracy and felony second-degree commercial robbery for his role in a robbery at the Apple store at 5640 Bay St. in Emeryville on Sept. 25 in which about $60,000 worth of merchandise was stolen.

At a brief hearing Alameda County Superior Court Judge James Cramer gave Cole credit for the time he’s already served in custody and placed him on three years’ probation.

Cole previously was convicted on March 23 of carrying a concealed firearm and on April 10, 2017, of second-degree burglary.

Cole was one of 10 suspects who were charged in connection with the robbery at the Apple store in Emeryville on Sept. 25. Six of the 10 suspects are still in custody.

Two defendants in the case are scheduled to be sentenced next week.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in late September that he filed charges for the 17 suspects in Apple store robberies statewide, including the Emeryville case, in Alameda, Santa Clara and Fresno counties.

Becerra said the defendants are charged with entering Apple retail stores in large groups wearing hoodies and snatching products on display in a matter of seconds. He said the alleged crimes took place in 19 counties.

He said local law enforcement agencies from seven Bay Area counties were among agencies in 19 counties that assisted in the investigation.

Becerra’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment on the case.

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