Godfrey man guilty pleads to robbery spree

A 24-year-old Godfrey man pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a robbery spree he committed over the span of just over a week earlier this year.

According to a statement from Southern Illinois U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton, Joseph Schwank pleaded guilty to charges that he robbed a bank and two pizza stores in late February and early March.

The statement said a disguised Schwank first entered a Pizza Hut in Alton on Feb. 23, handed over bag and a note to cashier that read “put the money in the bag.” Schwank also reportedly brandished a black airsoft gun he had in his waistband. He made off with $475 in cash.

Then, on March 2, Schwank — again wearing a disguise — entered a U.S. Bank in Alton and passed a note to a teller that read “don’t be a hero put all of the money in your cash register on the counter for me robbery.” The teller handed him $1,613.

A day later, Schwank entered a Domino’s Pizza in Bethalto and yelled “This is a robbery. Give me all the money you have.” An employee gave him $53.

Each robbery count carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years and fines up to $250,000. Schwank is expected to be sentenced Sept. 16.