Rafael Then, 28, was found guilty of first- and second-degree robbery after less than an hour of jury deliberation, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. He faces up to 25 years in prison when he is sentenced June 7.
"The defendant has now been found guilty of robbing a hard-working car dealership worker by threatening him with a handgun at his place of business," Brown said in a statement. "This defendant is a menace to society and must be removed from our streets. This conviction ensures that he will be severely punished for his actions.”
Then approached a porter at Baron Auto Mall on Northern Boulevard, near Broadway, on Oct. 15, 2006, when the victim was moving cars to stow them away for the night, according to testimony during the one-week trial in front of Justice Kenneth Holder.
When the porter moved a black 2003 Lexus GS 300 onto the sidewalk, Then yelled to him, gun in hand, and demanded the keys to the car.
Once he had the keys, Then told the worker to go inside the dealership and say nothing. But the victim called the police anyway, prosecutors said.
The Lexus was discovered 12 days later on Clay Avenue and 173rd Street in Claremont, The Bronx, by cops who were using a mobile plate reader to search for stolen vehicles, prosecutors said.
The reader alerted the officers that the license plate from the Lexus was stolen and that it had been boosted from the dealership in Woodside.
Then was arrested when cops spotted him entering the car.