George Herrera, 35, of Harvard, (inset) was identified as the suspect who committed an armed robbery at Don Chepe Store, 201 South Ayer Street in Harvard, on January 31, 2022. | Background Photo: Google Street View

A 35-year-old man who stole money from a convenience store in Harvard during an armed robbery has been sentenced to four years in prison.

The Harvard Police Department responded around 6:42 p.m. on January 31 to Don Chepe Store, 201 South Ayer Street in Harvard, for a report of an armed robbery.

Harvard Police Chief Tyson Bauman said at the time an unknown masked man entered the store and displayed a handgun.

The suspect demanded money and the two on-duty clerks gave the subject approximately $200 in cash.

The suspect fled the area in an unknown direction on foot. No one was injured during the robbery.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office sent a canine team to the scene to conduct a track of the area, Bauman said.

During the search, the handgun used in the robbery and the suspect’s clothing that was worn during the incident was discovered discarded near a dumpster in the adjacent parking lot.

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The weapon was determined to be an airsoft gun, according to a criminal complaint.

Bauman said it appeared the suspect had gotten into a vehicle and fled the area.

The Harvard Police Department continued the investigation throughout the night and police identified the suspect as George Herrera, 35, of the 700 block of West Metzen Street in Harvard.

Herrera was taken into custody and charged with aggravated robbery, a Class 1 felony.

On Friday, Herrera pleaded guilty to his charge and was sentenced by McHenry County Judge Michael Coppedge to four years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

The sentence will be served at 50% and Herrera will receive credit for 213 days already served in the McHenry County Jail. He will also receive 98 days of credit for time served in a self-improvement program.

Herrera also pleaded guilty to forgery, a Class 3 felony, for a separate McHenry County case where he wrote a $350 check that was drawn out of someone else’s bank account.

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Court records show Herrera has multiple previous convictions in McHenry County for other theft and forgery cases.