Man gets eight years in prison for Delavan robbery
ELKHORN A liquor store robber was sentenced Thursday to eight years in prison after pleading guilty.
Randy W. Fitzgerald, 33, Milwaukee, was accused by police of robbing the Hooch Hut in Delavan on April 8.
Walworth County Judge Robert Kennedy found Fitzgerald guilty of robbery and later sentenced him to prison. The prison term was part of the plea agreement Fitzgerald reached with the Walworth County district attorney.
Fitzgerald declined to make a statement to Kennedy before the judge passed sentence.
A high school graduate with training in auto body repair, Fitzgerald was convicted of felonies in Milwaukee County in 2006 and 2003.
Police were able to find Fitzgerald after the robbery because of mail and a receipt that identified his girlfriend were found in the getaway van. Police said Fitzgerald abandoned the van in a parking lot near the liquor store.
According to the criminal complaint:
Fitzgerald approached the store counter, pointed a gun at the owner and told him to get down. Fitzgerald was peeling an apple and eating it with a knife when he entered the store.
A weapon was never found, although the owner believed Fitzgerald was armed. Fitzgerald escaped with about $500 in cash.
Three witnesses described the getaway van. Police discovered it was owned by Fitzgerald’s girlfriend.
A piece of his mail fell out of the van when police opened a door. Police also found a receipt for an oil change that had the girlfriend’s name on it.
The girlfriend first told police she believed Fitzgerald had gone to Delavan on the day of the holdup to help his friend. After the robbery, Fitzgerald called her to say the van had broken down and he left it at their former home in Illinois.
The woman later told police Fitzgerald told her that he had robbed a liquor store with a name that began with the letter “H”, and had used a fake gun.
Fitzgerald was arrested in Milwaukee shortly after the robbery.