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posted: 3/3/2010 12:01 AM

Teens sentenced in Arlington Hts. gas station holdup

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Two Arlington Heights teens charged with an October 2009 holdup at a local gas station pleaded guilty Tuesday after prosecutors reduced the charges against them.

Sean Joplin, 18, and Rakeem Simmons, 17, of the 300 block of Golf Road, were originally charged with armed robbery, a class X felony that carries a sentence of six to 30 years. They pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of aggravated robbery, a class I felony that carries a sentence of four to 15 years.

Joplin was sentenced to four years in prison. Simmons received a five-year sentence.

At the time of the incident, the teens lived in a group home run by Shelter Inc., which provides temporary housing for abused and neglected children and teens.

While Simmons served as a lookout, Joplin entered the Mobil Station in the 1800 block of South Arlington Heights Road in Arlington Heights at about 11:30 p.m. Oct. 8, with what the clerk thought was a firearm but which was actually a hammer, said Assistant State's Attorney Mike Andre.

The teens took $494 from the cash register, Andre said. Identified by surveillance video, they were arrested several days later, Andre said.