Authorities said Taylor's accomplices in the heist - four men and a woman - escaped in a dark blue Mercedes-Benz with about $6,000. Although a weapon was never found, they said the robbers were armed.
During his trial and again yesterday at his sentencing in the county courthouse, Taylor testified that he was dragged into the freezer by police, and that he was not part of the robbery.
"He was involved in a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time," Taylor's attorney, Joseph A. Ciccitto, said yesterday.
Assistant District Attorney Paul A. Bauer 3d said Taylor's denial was a blatant lie.
"Pinocchio doesn't have a bigger nose than Harold Taylor," Bauer said. ''He showed a lack of remorse. The story he testified to shows that (he) is an absolute liar."
Authorities said that shortly after 7 a.m. Dec. 17, a woman knocked on the door of the second-floor restaurant and asked an employee for a job application. Soon after the door was opened, four masked men burst into the mall eatery, bound the hands of three employees with duct tape, and ordered the manager to empty the safe.
While that was going on, authorities said, an unobserved maintenance worker saw the robbers and dialed 911 from a nearby store.
Within minutes, the police arrived.
"Everybody else ran one way, (Taylor) ran another," Bauer said. "He ran into a freezer. He had no way of escaping."