A 54-year-old man has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for an armed robbery in Crystal Lake where he held a knife near a man’s neck.

Dieter Bierwirth Jr., 54, of the 500 block of Summerset Lane in Crystal Lake, was charged in November 2020 with armed robbery, burglary, unlawful possession of a controlled substance and theft.

The Crystal Lake Police Department responded in the early morning hours on November 1, 2020, to the Marathon gas station, 770 South Virginia Road, for a report of an armed robbery.

Crystal Lake Deputy Police Chief Thomas Kotlowski said at the time that a male wearing a medical mask and hooded jacket entered the business.

The man, later identified as Bierwirth, pulled out a large knife while demanding money from the clerk, court documents said.

Bierwirth put the knife near the clerk’s neck and threatened him with harm, Kotlowski said.

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The man forcefully removed a cash drawer containing an undisclosed amount of money and fled the business on foot. No injuries were reported.

Officers were again called to the gas station later that afternoon after the clerk recognized a customer who had entered as being the robbery suspect.

The Marathon gas station located at 770 South Virginia Road in Crystal Lake was robbed on November 1, 2020, police said. | Photo: Google Street View

Bierwirth was quickly located by police officers after fleeing the business on foot.

Detectives responded to the scene and were able to determine Bierwirth was involved in the armed robbery, Kotlowski said.

A search warrant was issued for Bierwirth’s residence and detectives recovered evidence linking the man to the robbery.

In April 2021, the man was found unfit to stand trial and was later ruled fit to stand trial in September.

On Thursday, Bierwirth entered into a negotiated plea deal with the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office.

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Bierwirth pleaded guilty to his most serious charge of armed robbery, a Class X felony, in exchange for his less serious charges being dismissed.

McHenry County Judge Robert Wilbrandt approved the deal and sentenced Bierwirth to 11 years and six months in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

He will have to serve at least 50% of the sentence and will receive 427 days of credit for time already served in the McHenry County Jail.

The case was investigated by the Crystal Lake Police Department and prosecuted by Brian Miller of the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office.