A federal judge has sentenced a 61-year-old Abilene man to serve more than 12 years in prison for robbing a Lawrence clothing store and two other businesses in Overland Park and Topeka in May 2010, federal prosecutors said.
Larry Leonard Rice had pleaded guilty in November to three counts of robbery and interfering with interstate commerce. According to his plea agreement, Rice turned himself in to Johnson County authorities May 30, 2010, and confessed to robbing a bank in Overland Park May 29, a Michaels arts and crafts store in Topeka May 25 and Maurices, 3226 Iowa, in Lawrence May 19.
In all three robberies, Rice said he placed a black piece of cardboard meant to look like the butt of a handgun in his waistband. He would lift up his shirt to display the cardboard and scare workers into giving him money.
He took about $1,500 in Overland Park, $428 in Topeka and $300 in Lawrence and said he committed the robberies because he owed $6,000 to someone.
U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia sentenced Rice Monday. Lawrence police, the FBI and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case, according to U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom’s office.