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Decatur man who used sob stories to trick, rob drivers gets 7 years in prison

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George H. Holmes

George H. Holmes

DECATUR — A Decatur man who used sob stories to trick his way into two drivers’ cars on the same night and steal from them was sentenced to seven years in prison Friday.

George H. Holmes, 51, took a plea deal negotiated by the Chief Public Defender David Ellison when he appeared in Macon County Circuit Court. Two charges of theft were dropped and Holmes pleaded guilty to a single count of burglary, a Class 3 felony.

Decatur police reports said Holmes, who was on parole for aggravated robbery, struck first the night of March 22 when he approached a driver about 6:50 p.m. as he was heading toward the exit of the parking lot outside the Kroger store on West 1st Drive.

Detective Sgt. Chris Copeland said at the time that Holmes distracted the driver with a hard luck story about needing a ride to pick up a car battery, then adds that he will be late for his mother's funeral. Holmes then persuaded the driver to let him into his car, Copeland said.

Holmes then had the driver head north across Lake Decatur before stealing $25 from him, Copeland said. The driver pulled into Mueller Park, and Copeland said Holmes then threatened the driver and tried to steal his van but fled when the driver pretended he was talking into a Bluetooth phone device and calling police.

A sworn affidavit from Decatur police said that by 9:15 p.m the same day Holmes was lurking in the drive-thru lane of the Dairy Queen restaurant, 230 West 1st Drive, and his second victim was a 16-year-old driver waiting for food.

The affidavit said Holmes told him he needed a jump start for his vehicle, and the young driver agreed to help him. Before he could say anything else, Holmes entered his car and was sat in the passenger seat, the affidavit said. He then made the driver head north over Lake Decatur before stealing a small amount of money. The affidavit said he threatened the driver, who described Holmes as acting “crazy,” before Holmes finally got out of the car and fled.

Holmes was described in court as having an “extensive criminal history.” As part of the plea agreement following Holmes' sentencing, the court agreed to recommend him for participation in a substance abuse program.

2019 mug shots from the Herald & Review

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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