One of two men accused of robbing or attempting to rob three Eau Claire County convenience stores over a one-week period will be sentenced Feb. 9.
Aaron M. Schmidt, 36, of Eau Claire pleaded guilty Wednesday in Eau Claire County Court to a felony count of robbery with use of force.
Two additional counts of the same charge and a misdemeanor count of retail theft were dismissed.
Judge John Manydeeds ordered a pre-sentence investigation by the state Department of Corrections.
Manydeeds could sentence Schmidt to up to 10 years in prison.
Schmidt’s co-defendant, David G. Meiser, 31, of Evergreen, was previously convicted of one count of robbery with use of force and will be sentenced on Jan. 19.
According to the criminal complaint:
A man wearing black gloves and a sweatshirt with the hood up was at Mega Holiday, 2943 Western Ave., at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 11 when he demanded the clerk open the cash register and give him all the money.
The man left the store after the female clerk did not comply with his demands.
The man left in a vehicle driven by another man.
At 9 p.m. the same day, authorities responded to Countryside Co-op convenience store, E10914 Highway HH, Foster, for a robbery.
The clerk said two males approached the counter, bought a beer and then reached into the cash register and stole about $300.
The men left the store, got into a vehicle and headed east on Highway HH before going north on Interstate 94.
At 8 p.m. Sept. 18, a man entered Mega Holiday, 2940 N. Clairemont Ave., pulled the cash register from its cords, stole the cash register drawer and left in a Chevy Equinox. A second man was in the vehicle.
A store official said $280 was taken during the robbery but the value of the cash register is $600. If the computer for the cash register was damaged, the replacement cost would be $12,000.
A man took a 12-pack of beer Sept. 18 from Kwik Trip, 2232 Otter Road. The man left in a Chevy Equinox registered to Schmidt.
Meiser and Schmidt were arrested after the Chevy Equinox was found Monday night on Cameron Street.
Surveillance video from all four convenience stores led authorities to identify Meiser and Schmidt as the suspects for all four incidents.
Schmidt told police he had been living out of his vehicle and didn’t have any money.
Schmidt admitted he was a drug addict and was having a difficult time getting help. He said he continues to use methamphetamine.
Schmidt admitted to taking a cash register drawer and throwing the drawer into a ditch.
He admitted to similar thefts in Foster and Menomonie.
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