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Men sentenced in attempted coin shop robbery

Gold Cross paramedics wheel an injured suspect from the scene of an armed robbery at Superior Coin & Currency Nov. 12, 2015. The two men involved in the robbery have been sentenced in Douglas County Circuit Court. Jed Carlson/

Two men who tried to rob a Superior coin shop while armed with a knife have been sentenced in Douglas County Circuit Court. One was sentenced to four years on probation and 26 days in jail. The other will spend six years in prison, three of them for the robbery attempt.

Dylan Richard Semborski, 21, of Superior pleaded guilty Dec. 20 to attempted armed robbery, attempted theft from a person and negligent handling of a weapon, all stemming from the coin shop incident on Nov. 12, 2015.

He was sentenced to four years of probation and 26 days in jail, ordered to write an apology essay and pay $790 in fines and court fees. A four-year deferred judgment of conviction agreement was entered for the attempted armed robbery charge. If Semborski complies with the terms of his bail and probation and does not get in trouble with the law during that time, the charge would be dismissed with prejudice.

Nickolas James Tollas, 19, of Superior pleaded guilty July 11 to an amended charge of party to robbery with use of force and bail jumping. He was sentenced on Nov. 10 to three years in prison and three years of extended supervision.

Tollas also pleaded guilty July 11 to two counts of burglary, one count of party to burglary and an additional bail jumping charge for unrelated incidents. He was sentenced to three years of prison and three years of extended supervision to run consecutively with the robbery sentence. Counts of criminal damage to property, theft, uttering a forgery, possession of drug paraphernalia and nine additional bail jumping charges were dismissed.

Tollas was ordered to have no contact with the victims and no possession of dangerous weapons, maintain absolute sobriety, submit to random urinalysis, pay $13,325 in restitution and $2,887 in court costs.

According to the criminal complaint:

Semborski and Tollas walked into Superior Coin & Currency the afternoon of Nov. 12, 2015. Semborski rushed toward the owner, Orvell Sunde, with a knife in his hand and said "Give me your money!" Tollas locked the door. Sunde grabbed a loaded gun and fired at Semborski. Tollas ran out of the store.

The two men were looking for money to buy drugs with.

In a letter to Judge George Glonek prior to Semborski's sentencing, Sunde said that he felt trapped when the men locked the door and Semborski approached him with a knife.

"'They will find my body in the back room tomorrow morning' was the thought that went through my mind," Sunde wrote.

He shot and hit Semborski, who went down.

"Wounded in the arm, a few inches away from where the bullet hit were vital organs, his heart, his head, he could have been killed," Sunde wrote. He said the serious crime deserved strong punishment to send a message to others with like thoughts.

Relatives of both men wrote letters to Judge George Glonek prior to sentencing, sharing the effect heroin addiction has had on their lives.

"I know you are aware of how the addiction of heroin is taking over our community and our youth," wrote Tami Semborski. "Never in my right mind did I think that it would impact my son and our family. It is the worst thing we have been through in our lives. It feels like we lost our son, like he died right before our eyes and we were helpless."

Semborski has attended an inpatient treatment program in Chippewa Falls and outpatient sessions. He has since gained employment in Menomonie.

"Dylan is a good, kind, caring, funny young man. It has brought such joy to my heart to talk and laugh with him and have my son back," Tami Semborski wrote.

In February, Tollas' grandparents wrote to the judge.

"I believe with all of my heart, that Nick's actions were strictly because of the drugs," wrote Barbara Gudowski, and he knows he has to be held accountable for his deeds.

It would be a waste to put him in with the hardened criminals, she said.

"That is not who he is. He is a victim also, of drugs," Gudowski wrote. "When I think of all the families going thru pure hell because of drugs — it is overwhelming. When I think of how the addiction is owning so many good people, it is too overwhelming."

They wrote again in September.

"As far as we know, all the charges he is facing are a direct result of being on drugs," the Gudowskis wrote. "We also know that you hear this story over and over. Nick is and always has been a kind, caring, hard-working young man."

Tollas had an accident with his ATV that broke his hand. Following major surgery, they wrote, he was given a great deal of pain medications.

"We believe this had a lot to do with him getting started on drug use," the Gudowskis wrote. "His life has been horrible since, but typical of a drug user."

They asked the court to do the best it can to see that their grandson is placed in a good drug program.

"When Nick is Nick and not the drug user — he is not the type of person who should be in prison," they wrote. "He just isn't."