April 23, 2017 Fair, 45°F

Man pleads not guilty in Casey's armed robbery

MORRISON – A Morrison man charged in the armed robbery of Casey's General Store pleaded not guilty Thursday in Whiteside County Court.

Tyler Engelkins, 26, was arrested Aug. 9 while riding a small bicycle outside McDonald's, hours after police responded to a call of a "robbery in progress" at Casey's, 602 E. Lincolnway.

He is charged with armed robbery and burglary, both felonies, and theft, a misdemeanor. Armed robbery carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison and burglary up to 7 years.

Witnesses said a man in a hooded jacket, mask and with socks on his hands flashed a knife and forced an employee to open the cash register around 3 a.m. He took the entire cash drawer and left.

The three employees recognized Engelkins, who used to work at Casey's and was working at the McDonald's next door, police said.

Around 8 a.m. the morning after the robbery, police were outside the restaurant waiting for Engelkins. He rode past, one of the officers took after him on foot, and when he was caught, he had a plastic shopping bag containing the cash drawer, money, a knife and "incriminating clothing," police said.

He is in jail on $150,000 bond. He has a Sept. 22 pretrial hearing.

Engelkins was sentenced to 60 days in jail and 30 months of probation for aggravated battery in 2006, and boot camp for residential burglary in 2007, both in Whiteside County.

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