NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) District Attorney Scott Thomas announced that in Craven County Superior Court on Tuesday, 35-year-old Kishon Jerell Toms of New Bern pled guilty to multiple counts of robbery.

He was sentenced to a prison term of approximately 12 ¾ to 17 years.

Toms was identified as a suspect in a short-lived string of robberies of stores – primarily small convenience stores in and around Broad Street, Cedar Street, and Neuse Boulevard in New Bern.

Officials said in each of the cases, Toms carried what appeared to be a firearm, usually wrapped in a t-shirt or plastic bag, and threatened the clerks to get money from the stores.

He also stole cigarettes and a cell phone during the incidents and was caught when one clerk watched him run toward a nearby hotel, where New Bern Police detectives were able to find records that Toms’ girlfriend had rented a room.

In going through his possessions in the room, police found the apparent firearm, which turned out to be a pair of pliers wrapped in duct tape and made to look like a gun.

He was apprehended later that day.

Toms pled guilty to three counts of Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, and one Attempted Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon.

He also pled guilty to four counts of common law robbery pled guilty to an assault charge which occurred at the Craven County Jail after he was arrested.