Police searching for man accused of robbing store while wielding club

Local News

PAXTON, Ill. (WCIA) — Police in Paxton are searching for a man who they say is involved in several robberies in central Illinois.

Paxton Police Chief Coy Cornett says at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, a man robbed the Village Pantry, 435 S. Railroad St.

He says the suspect walked into the store and asked the clerk for two packs of Marlboro cigarretes. When the clerk turned around, the chief says the man displayed a club-style weapon and demanded money from the cash register.

Cornett says the employee handed over around $162 to the man, who then left the business and fled to the south.

After investigating the robbery, the chief says they identified the suspect as 54-year-old John W. Beck, of Mechanicsburg.

He says over the last few weeks, Beck has been accused of robberies in Sangamon and Livingston counties. Additionally, Cornett says the man has active warrants in both counties.

Police are still searching for the man, he says.

Cornett says after the robbery in Livingston County, Beck was driving a stolen silver 2012 Ford Focus hatchback. It’s unknown whether he is still driving that car, he says.

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