Lake Geo robber sentenced to jail

Published 7:30 pm Saturday, August 20, 2011

Chad Bruce Sabinish was sentenced to 120 days in jail for robbing the Lake Geo Travel Plaza April 16. - Herald file photo

An Austin man who robbed the Lake Geo Travel Plaza near Dexter on April 16 was sentenced to 120 days in jail Friday in Mower County District Court.

Chad Bruce Sabanish, 37, was convicted of simple robbery, theft and fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle — all felonies. When he is released from jail he must be on probation for 10 years, in lieu of a 23-month prison sentence. Judge Fred Wellmann also ordered Sabanish to complete 100 hours of community service and pay $280.25 in restitution.

Sabanish was accused of stealing a black 2001 Chevy S10 blazer from Budget Oil the day before the Lake Geo robbery. The vehicle was running and the owner was pumping air into the rear right tire when it was reportedly stolen, according to a court complaint.

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The vehicle was later spotted at Kwik Trip on Fourth Street SW around 1 a.m. on April 16, when Sabanish drove off from Kwik Trip without paying for gas. Austin police and Mower County Sheriff’s deputies responded to Lake Geo Travel Plaza for the robbery just hours after the gas drive-off, around 7 a.m.

Sabanish apparently entered the Travel Plaza wearing a black ski mask and passed the cashier a note telling her to hand over the money and everything would be OK.

She gave him $220 out of the cash register.

Sabanish then drove toward Dexter. An Austin officer spotted the SUV as he was responding to the robbery and followed it, which resulted in a chase exceeding speeds of 80 mph and involving five squad cars, until Sabanish went into the ditch near the T-intersection on County Road 16. He was not injured.