CAMBRIDGE -- Judge Charles "Casey" Stengel on Tuesday told a Tampico man he would accept a guilty plea if it included a 17-year prison sentence.
Robert Zais, 26, declined. Heis charged with two counts Class 2 felony theft, three counts Class 2 felony burglary and two counts Class 3 felony theft between last April and Aug. 13.
According to Henry County Circuit Court records, Mr. Zais and co-defendant Robert Lambert, 31, of Kewanee, allegedly stole four Gators from Holland & Son in Geneseo; an Arctic Cat utility vehicle from Mapes Asphalt in Geneseo; and several tools.
The men also allegedly broke into Annawan Express Lane in Annawan and stole an ATM containing $7,700 andbroke into People's National Bank of Kewanee in Annawan and took a safe containing rolls of coins valued at $500 to $10,000.
Henry County State's Attorney Terry Patton said the two men were stopped April 9 in Lee County pulling a trailer with one of the ATVs stolen from Holland & Son.
He said the day after the break-in at the Annawan bank, the Arctic Cat used to gain entry was found in a drainage ditch and footprints from the site matched shoes belonging to Mr. Lambert.
He said Mr. Zais' girlfriend said she overheard them talking about a bank job, and he showed her $3,200 in cash he said he won at a casino, but police learned he had not won money at the casino.
Both men remain in Henry County Jail. Mr. Zais bail was set at $400,000 and Mr. Lambert's at $250,000. Mr. Zais is scheduled for a pretrial hearing on Nov. 27.Mr. Lambert's next court date is Dec. 13.
The judge's 17-year recommendation was made at the end of a conference held to determine if charges could be resolved by a guilty plea.
Today is Sunday, March 9, the 68th day of 2014. There are 297 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: Much damage is being done to sidewalks, shade trees, fences and gardens by hogs that are running at large about town. 1889 -- 125 years ago: H.C. Cleveland was elected air knight captain of Rock Island Division Uniform Rank Knights of Pythias. 1914 -- 100 years ago: B.W. Wilson, authority on birds and their habits, spoke at the weekly luncheon at the Rock Island Club. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The famous Dionne quintuplets have been invited to visit King George and Queen Elizabeth in Toronto on May 22, but Papa Dionne thinks their majesties should include the Callander nursery in their tour. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Ever been smothered by funny stuff? Well more than 2,600 people were last night when two boys named Tom and Dick Smothers took a "rocky, twisting road to folk music" in Davenport Masonic Temple. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Moline residents soon may be asked to recycle part of their garbage and might even get paid for it.