Coast Guard Festival armed robber gets 8 years in prison

Becky Vargo • Jun 2, 2017 at 8:00 AM

A Rockford man, already serving prison time for similar charges in Kent County, was sentenced this week in Ottawa County Circuit Court on two counts of armed robbery last summer in Grand Haven.

Seth Stepien, 19, was ordered Tuesday to serve 8.5 to 40 years after pleading guilty to the charges in late April. In exchange for his plea, he will not face a felony firearm charge.

Officials agreed at the time of the plea that his minimum prison sentence was not to exceed nine years and that it would run concurrent with the sentence being served from his conviction in Kent County.

The Ottawa County charges evolved from an incident that occurred during the 2016 Coast Guard Festival. The crime happened in the parking lot of the Tri-Cities Family YMCA at about 10:35 p.m. on Aug. 5.

Two 17-year-old Montague men reported that they were robbed at gunpoint, according to Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke. Cellphones and jewelry were taken.

In Kent County, police said that Stepien and Austin Luft, 20, of Lowell used social media to arrange a hold-up at a Kent County park, allegedly targeting a woman who was looking for prescription medication. When the woman arrived to complete the deal, she was robbed at gunpoint.

Stepien was given credit for 223 days already served in jail.

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