FREEHOLD – A Keansburg man convicted of impersonating a law enforcement officer, armed robbery and other charges, was sentenced Friday to 20 years in a New Jersey state prison, announced Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Steven P. Rinck, 49, of Seabreeze Way in Keansburg, was sentenced by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge John R. Tassini to a total of 20 years in a New Jersey state prison, subject to the provisions of the “No Early Release Act” (NERA) requiring him to serve at least 85 percent of the sentence before he is eligible for parole.
Rinck was convicted on Christmas Eve 2015 for an incident that occurred around 9 p.m. on October 21, 2012, at 156 Seeley Avenue in Keansburg. Rinck gained entry into the residence under the guise of being a member of law enforcement while armed with a handgun and carrying a document he said was a search warrant to search the house. Once inside the residence, Rinck convinced the victim he was a legitimate member of law enforcement before stealing cash and drugs from the victim and a friend who arrived at the residence during this incident.
During the armed robbery, Rinck claimed he worked for the State Police before forcing the two men, at gunpoint, into a vehicle. He later released the second victim, but took the resident on a ride in search of drugs, and asked for information regarding where he could obtain guns. The victim was finally released by Rinck after telling him the first name that popped into his head, “Tito,” the cartoon character from the show he was watching on television prior to Rinck’s arrival. The victim reported the incident to Keansburg Police, sparking an investigation that revealed additional victims to Rinck’s claims of being a law enforcement officer.
The trial culminated with the jury finding Rinck guilty on a total of 15 counts, including four counts of fourth degree Impersonating a Law Enforcement Officer, two counts of first degree Armed Robbery, one count of second degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, one count of second degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, two counts of fourth degree Aggravated Assault by Pointing a Firearm, two counts of third degree Terroristic Threats, two counts of second degree Kidnapping, and one count of second degree Certain Persons Not to Have Firearms.
On one count of the first degree Armed Robbery, Rinck was sentenced to 20 years in a New Jersey state prison, subject to the provisions of the “No Early Release Act” (NERA) requiring him to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for release on parole. He will also be under parole supervision for five years following his release.
Judge Tassini handed down concurrent sentences on a second count of second degree Armed Robbery of 15 years in state prison, subject to the provision of NERA; on each of the two counts of second degree charge of Kidnapping, Rinck was sentenced to seven years in state prison with an 85 percent period of parole ineligibility, and a three-year period of parole supervision upon release; on the second degree unlawful possession of a weapon charge, Rinck was sentenced to seven years in state prison with a 42 month period of parole ineligibility; and on the second degree certain person not to possess firearm charge, Rinck was sentenced to seven years in state prison with a 5 year period of parole ineligibility.
Tassini also handed down concurrent sentences on all four counts of fourth degree Impersonating a Law Enforcement Officer, sentencing Rinck to one-year in state prison on each of the four counts of and fourth degree.
For the purposes of sentencing, the charges of Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Terroristic Threats, and Aggravated Assault by Pointing a Firearm were all merged into the Armed Robbery charges.
The case was prosecuted by Monmouth County Senior Litigation Counsel Jacquelynn Seely and Assistant Prosecutor Ashley Behre.
Rinck is represented by Robert Konzelmann, Esq., of Howell.
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