Man sentenced to 55 years for January robberies of Burger King, Dollar General
Online Staff Report
Melvin D. Bankhead, 40, was sentenced Aug. 24 to a total of 55 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after he pleaded guilty to two counts of armed robbery and was sentenced to 35 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Bankhead also pleaded guilty to one count of armed habitual criminal and was sentenced to 20 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. The sentences will run concurrently.
Jan. 19, Rockford police were dispatched to Burger King at 2911 Auburn St. in response to a holdup alarm. A female employee stated a black male entered the store with a black bandanna around his face, pointed a handgun at her and ordered her to give him the money. After she did so, the suspect left the store.
Jan. 30, Rockford police were dispatched to the Dollar General Store at 3732 N. Main St. A male employee told police the suspect entered the store, selected some items, and approached the cash register. After the employee scanned the items, the suspect pulled out a handgun, pointed it at him and demanded money. The employee gave the suspect the money from the drawer, and the suspect fled the store. Rockford detectives had been working a special detail in the area in response to numerous armed robberies that had occurred.
Detectives had observed Bankhead enter the Dollar General Store, then exit a short time later and jog back to his vehicle. Once they learned a robbery had been committed, detectives attempted to stop Bankhead’s vehicle.
During the course of the pursuit, Bankhead threw a handgun from his vehicle, which was later recovered. The employee from Dollar General positively identified Bankhead as the person who committed the armed robbery.
Detectives interviewed Bankhead, who also admitted to robbing the Burger King Jan. 19.
Armed Robbery is a class X felony with a sentencing range of six to 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Because of Bankhead’s criminal record, he is subject to an extended-term sentence of up to 60 years. There is also an additional penalty enhancement of 15 years because of the use of a firearm during the armed robberies.
Armed habitual criminal is also a class X felony, with a sentencing range of six to 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Bankhead must serve 85 percent of the sentence on this charge.
Posted Aug. 27, 2012
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