PEKIN — A Mapleton man left a trail of evidence from four robberies and burglaries last summer, including one in which a woman he had dated identified him.
Travis Swanson’s crimes in East Peoria and Peoria County produced an eight-year prison term this week. He’ll receive treatment for the drug habit that he said drove him to his crimes.
They began last June with a break-in at the Illinois Central College Academic Building and ended after three more crimes over nine days in July.
Swanson, 34, was sentenced Tuesday to three concurrent eight-year terms for his Tazewell County crimes after pleading guilty in an agreement that brought the cases to court for the first time. He’ll also serve a concurrent six-year term he received last week in Peoria County.
An East Peoria police officer stopped to help Swanson after midnight last June 28 when he found Swanson’s pickup truck stuck in a ditch. In the truck were a mitre saw and a Shop-Vac that, later that day, were discovered stolen from the ICC building.
Swanson was being sought for that crime when, on July 9, he walked into the Family Video store at Town Centre II and said hello to the clerk he had once dated. He suddenly ran behind the counter, grabbed $236 from the cash register and fled, according to court-related evidence.
Five days later, Swanson hid behind a dumpster in wait for the manager of Bob’s Dairy Dream at 108 Melville Court to leave for the night. He demanded the business “money bag” he expected her to be carrying and, when she said she didn’t have it, grabbed her purse and ran, evidence revealed.
He committed another robbery in Peoria County on July 18 before his arrest about two weeks later, according to court records. In that case he pleaded guilty to felony theft.
Swanson was given credit for the 283 days he’s spent in custody and will serve half of his remaining term with good behavior.
Follow Michael Smothers at Twitter.com/msmotherspekin