A Bowling Green man admitted to a pair of robberies and a string of thefts that continued after being jailed, and he was sentenced Wednesday to 20 years in prison.
Jeffery Dwayne Yates, 53, pleaded guilty in Warren Circuit Court to two counts of second-degree robbery, three counts of theft by unlawful taking (more than $500 but less than $10,000) and a single count of theft by deception (more than $500 but less than $10,000).
Yates was arrested last year after emerging as a suspect in two robberies that occurred two days apart at a pair of Bowling Green businesses.
The first incident occurred Sept. 5, 2019, at Tobacco America on Morgantown Road.
A man entered the store and demanded money, and after receiving an undisclosed amount of money ran from the business in the direction of Sharon Drive, according to the Bowling Green Police Department.
On Sept. 7, 2019, a second robbery occurred at Smoothie King on Nashville Road.
Police said a man entered the business and sat at the table for some time and then left. The man returned near the close of business, coming around the counter and demanding money from employees.
One of the employees took the money drawer, threw it into the safe and closed it, and the two Smoothie King employees then ran to a nearby store to call 911, according to police.
Through investigation, police determined Yates was a suspect in the two robberies, and he was arrested Sept. 12, 2019, on a warrant.
A Warren County grand jury returned indictments charging Yates with committing additional thefts, including an attempted theft of merchandise from Camping World and a theft of remote-controlled cars from Hobby Town that he attempted to sell at a pawn shop.
One indictment charging him with theft by unlawful taking involved an incident at Warren County Regional Jail in which Yates was accused of stealing an Apple watch and jewelry belonging to another inmate that had been placed in an envelope with some of the other inmate’s belongings, according to court records.
Yates was scheduled to face a trial next week in four separate criminal cases before pleading guilty. The second-degree robbery counts to which he pleaded guilty were amended down from first-degree robbery.