SOUTH BEND — A man who went on a five-location Christmastime armed robbery spree was sentenced to 71 months in prison.
From 2017 Christmas Eve to New Year's Day, Jan. 1, 2018, a Michigan City man robbed five businesses, including a pizza parlor, tobacco store, two convenience stores and a gas station, according to court records.
Demetrius Thomas, 39, was sentenced Thursday to 71 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release and was ordered to pay restitution to each of the businesses, according to U.S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch.
Thomas pleaded guilty to five counts of robbery, which included holding employees against their will by means of threat, court records said.
During his spree, Thomas robbed businesses in South Bend, St. Joseph County and Mishawaka, Kirsch said. The FBI investigated the five robberies, which took place within nine days.
On Dec 24, 2017, Thomas robbed a CVS store, holding an employee against her will by means of threat of actual and threatened force during the robbery, court records state.
On Christmas Day 2017, Thomas then robbed an Admiral Gas Station, holding another employee against his will.
On Dec. 26, 2017, Low Bob's Discount Tobacco became the next target of the spree, in which Thomas also was charged with holding an employee against his will.
The next day on Dec. 27, 2017, Thomas robbed the Olive Street Convenience Store and again held an employee against his will.
After a four-day break, Thomas robbed Luigi's Pizza on New Year's Day, again holding an employee against her will.
Following his sentencing, Thomas must repay restitution to each business, totaling $1,429.49.