Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said the incident took place in Kent. It actually took place in Ravenna and was solved six years later by Ravenna police. Incorrect information was inadvterently given to the Record-Courier, and contained in online court records.
An incarcerated felon currently serving 10 years in an Ohio prison on robbery charges could receive an additional six to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to the armed robbery of a Ravenna check cashing store in June 2007.
Portage County Prosecutor Victor Vigluicci said Noah T. Williams Jr., 24, with a last known address of 1800 Rhodes Road, Kent, pleaded guilty July 18 to aggravated robbery with a firearms specification, a first-degree felony that also carries a mandatory three-year prison term.
Sentencing will take place in Portage County Common Pleas Judge Laurie Pittman's courtroom on Aug. 12, according to court records.
Williams currently is serving a 10-year prison term after being convicted of aggravated robbery in Stark County and robbery in Mahoning County in 2008, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.
Ravenna police officers responded on June 22, 2007, to a report of a robbery at American Payroll Advance, 1060 W. Main St. The employees told police a short, stocky black male dressed in black with a white shirt and sunglasses on walked up to the counter and asked questions about payroll and income tax checks, Vigluicci said.
After talking to the employee, the man -- later identified as Williams -- looked into his bag and said "Put it in." When the employee asked "Put what in?" he pulled a silver handgun, hopped the counter and told her to put money from the cashier drawers into his bag.
Another employee was surprised during the robbery, Vigluicci said, and Williams ordered them to tell him where the safe was. When they said they didn't have one, he ordered them into the bathroom, closed the door behind them and fled, he said.
In the Ravenna case, Det. Greg Francis said police eventually tied the robbery to Williams when they found a left palm print on the glass countertop where he jumped over to get to the employee.
"There were good surveillance photos of (Williams) leaning on the counter with his hands on the glass," Vigluicci said.
Vigluicci said the description of the robber, which included a tattoo on his upper left arm and one on his hand, later was used to link Williams to at least four other armed robberies of check cashing stores in Northeastern Ohio:
The Jan. 24, 2008, robbery of a Cashland in Boardman in Mahoning County
The Sept. 19, 2008, robbery of a Cash Advance in Stow
The Sept. 26, 2008, robbery of a First American Cash Advance on Brittain Road in Akron.
The Oct. 1, 2008, robbery of a Cash Advance in Canton in Stark County
Vigluicci said Williams confessed to all of those robberies, and was linked to the others because of the similar M.O.: In all the cases, he displayed a similar-looking silver handgun with a black handle, demanded money first from the cashier drawers, then the safe, and closed employees in on-site bathrooms before fleeing, he said.
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