Plea in Rantoul holdup brings 13-year prison term

Plea in Rantoul holdup brings 13-year prison term

URBANA — A Champaign man who admitted driving the getaway car in a Rantoul credit union holdup that happened almost two years ago has been sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Maurice Thomas, 29, whose last known address was in the 700 block of North Fifth Street, pleaded guilty Tuesday before Judge Heidi Ladd to aggravated robbery for his part in the holdup of the Community Plus Federal Credit Union at 526 E. Champaign Ave., on Sept. 18, 2012.

Just last month, co-defendant Darta Bishop, 26, of Champaign, pleaded guilty to the same crime for a sentence of 11 years in prison.

Thomas was given credit for one year and nine months already served.

Assistant State's Attorney Dan Clifton said a man wearing a disguise entered the credit union that day about 10:40 a.m. and said he had a gun but didn't show it. He threatened to kill the people present if he didn't get money. Tellers provided cash that had GPS devices in it, allowing police to track to car and stop it in the 1300 block of Clock Street in Champaign.

Clifton said Thomas, the driver, ran from the car after it stopped and that Bishop then scooted to the driver's seat and took off, eventually crashing the car shortly after in the 1400 block of Winding Lane, Champaign.

Thomas had prior convictions for burglary, residential burglary, possession of a stolen firearm, resisting arrest and felony theft.

Clifton said police recovered all but a small amount of the money.

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