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Press Release

Man Sentenced for Armed Robbery of Pizza Restaurant

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Newport News man was sentenced today to 16 1/2 years in prison for the armed robbery of Ricco’s Pizza in Hampton.

According to court documents, Brian Gale, 55, robbed Ricco’s Pizza on the evening of July 3, 2016. Gale entered the store through the rear employee entrance wearing a mask and carrying a firearm. He pushed and ordered employees to the floor and then fired his gun toward the front of the store while demanding money. Gale stole approximately $1,400 from the business before fleeing, leaving the mask he had worn inside the business. As he was fleeing, Gale encountered a delivery driver returning to the store to make additional deliveries. Gale pointed his gun at the driver’s face as he ran past. The driver and the store’s owner followed Gale to the area behind the store and watched as he fled into a nearby residential neighborhood. Before entering the neighborhood, Gale looked back and fired his gun a second time. As Gale crossed into the neighborhood, he dropped his cell phone, which was later used to identify him. Gale also discarded homemade zip-tie handcuffs and rubber gloves.  Gale’s identity was further confirmed through DNA testing of the mask found inside Ricco’s Pizza. 

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Thomas L. Chittum, III, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division, and Terry L. Sult, Chief of Hampton Police Division, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kaitlin C. Gratton prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:17-cr-47.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Communications

Updated November 27, 2017

Violent Crime