Defendant convicted of knifepoint robbery of Elizabeth gas station attendant

A Union County jury has returned guilty verdicts against an Elizabeth man who robbed a gas station attendant at knifepoint a little more than two years ago, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Thursday.

Carlos Cardoza, 34, was convicted of first-degree robbery and two related third-degree weapons offenses following several hours of jury deliberation spread across two days and a five-day trial before state Superior Court Judge John M. Deitch.

On February 3, 2015, an attendant at the Valero gas station on the 300 block of Elizabeth Avenue in Elizabeth was robbed of approximately $220 in cash by an assailant wielding a steak knife and wearing a mask, gloves, and a jacket with distinctive reflective stripes, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Jeremiah Lenihan, who prosecuted the case.

Two days later, the same attendant saw Cardoza again enter the gas station, and he called a coworker, who called police, Lenihan said. The attendant then locked himself inside the gas station’s booth as Cardoza attempted to break in, but he was arrested by arriving Elizabeth Police Department patrol units minutes later – wearing the jacket with reflective stripes, and with a steak knife in his front pocket. 

Sentencing in the case has been scheduled for July 7 before Judge Deitch, at which time Cardoza is expected to receive a term of 10 to 20 years in state prison.