Imprisoned convict pleads guilty in ‘crime spree,’ handed another 15 years for Island Lake gas station robbery

Matthew Wegleiz is already serving a 10-year sentence related to the robbery spree: court records

Matthew Wegleiz

A man already serving a 10-year prison term for a Lake County robbery was sentenced to another 15 years after pleading guilty Wednesday in McHenry County to armed robbery of an Island Lake gas station.

Matthew J. Wegleiz, 27, of Cicero, entered into a negotiated plea of guilty to one count of armed robbery, a Class X felony. The charge typically carries a prison term of up to 30 years.

In exchange for his guilty plea, an additional charge of armed robbery was dismissed, court records show.

Wegleiz was charged along with Shaquille Davidson, 29, in what police at the time called a “crime spree” involving multiple gas stations in Lake and McHenry counties on March 23 and 24, 2019, according to Lake and McHenry county court records.

In Wednesday’s plea, Wegleiz admitted to a robbery committed with Davidson at a gas station in Island Lake on March 24.

Two men, later identified as Wegleiz and Davidson, entered a Mobil gas station at 520 Newport Court off Route 176 on March 24 and pretended to buy a bottle of soda. When the register was open, one man stuck a gun in the attendant’s face and they both emptied the register, police said at the time.

The robbery was connected to others that occurred in Crystal Lake, according to reports at the time.

In Lake County, both men were accused of being armed and stealing more than $500 from Murphy’s Gas in Waukegan with an employee present, according to Lake County court records.

Wegliez pleaded guilty in that case to armed robbery and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, records show.

The sentences will be served concurrently, McHenry County prosecutors said.

In Crystal Lake, the men were accused of being armed with a gun when they stole $195 and cigars from the Open Pantry Shell in the 4800 block of Route 14 and “threatening the cashier,” according to the complaint.

The pair also was accused of armed robbery at a Shell gas station in the 200 block of North Route 31, and stealing $35, according to the complaint.

No firearm was recovered or fired in either of the crimes, McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney William Bruce said.

“In both cases, which were quickly determined to be related by responding detectives, two male suspects had forcefully removed cash from the register while armed with a handgun and fled the scene on foot,” Crystal Lake Deputy Police Chief Tom Kotlowski said at the time of their arrests.

No injuries were reported in either incident.

Four counts of armed robbery regarding the Crystal Lake robberies were dismissed as part of Wegleiz’s plea deal, court records show.