Central Illinois robber caught, faces nearly 50 years behind bars

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — After a failed attempt to escape jail, a central Illinois robber has pleaded guilty to six counts of burglary in addition to his one count of attempted escape.

John W. Beck, 55, of Mechanicsburg pleaded guilty Jan. 12.

In court, Beck admitted to robbing the following business and banks last April:

  • Dollar General, Buffalo
  • Bank of Pontiac
  • Fast Stop, Odell
  • Village Pantry, Paxton
  • Subway, Danville
  • Elmwood Bank, Elmwood

In order to complete his robberies, Beck stole multiple vehicles and license plates. He was arrested in April 2021 while he was on supervised release for a bank robbery he committed in 2007. He was facing 151 months (12.5 years) at the time but was released in 2019.

Following his arrest for the 2021 robberies, he attempted to escape from the Livingston County Jail that September.

His sentencing has been scheduled for May 25 in Peoria, where he faces up to 20 years behind bars, a fine of up to $250,000, and three years of supervised release for each of the four counts of interference of commerce by robbery (Dollar General, Subway, Fast Stop, Village Pantry), as well as the bank robbery in Pontiac.

For the robbery of the Elmwood Bank, he faces up to 25 years in prison and five years of supervised release.

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