Man sentenced to prison in gas theft

Man sentenced to prison in gas theft

URBANA — A homeless man who admitted stealing gasoline from a Champaign station has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Jesse Blake, 57, pleaded guilty to theft Tuesday in Champaign County Circuit Court and was ordered to repay $60 to Thornton's, 101 S. Mattis Ave., C.

Assistant State's Attorney Scott Bennett said on Nov. 24, Blake pumped $60 worth of gas into his sport utility vehicle and drove off without paying.

Police located Blake, who initially said he was having trouble with his debit card, then later said he was driving to a friend's house to get money to return to the station to pay for the gas.

A retail theft with a prior theft conviction was dismissed as part of Blake's negotiated plea agreement.

Bennett said Blake had about nine prior felonies in other counties, including three for armed robbery in 1985 for which he was sentenced to 24 years in prison.

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