Knife-wielding gas station robber enters plea

Surveillance photos of the suspect who held up the Speedway gas station at 4390 Byron Center Avenue SW in Wyoming on April 21, 2016. (Courtesy Wyoming Department of Public Safety)
Surveillance photos of the suspect who held up the Speedway gas station at 4390 Byron Center Avenue SW in Wyoming on April 21, 2016. (Courtesy Wyoming Department of Public Safety)

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — The man who used a knife to rob a Wyoming gas station last spring has pleaded guilty.

Investigators say it was Ronald James Vanzoren who was caught on video robbing the Speedway gas station at 44th Street SW and Byron Center Avenue. No one was injured, but money was stolen.

Police say a Silent Observer tip led them to Vanzoren three weeks later.

Ronald James Vanzoren's mug shot.
Ronald James Vanzoren’s mug shot.

He pleaded guilty to armed robbery and carrying a concealed weapon Monday.

Vanzoren has a long criminal history dating back to the late 1980s, including weapons and armed robbery convictions. He was originally charged as a repeat offender, which would have translated to a minimum of 25 years in prison, but prosecutors dropped the enhancement as part of the plea deal.

Vanzoren still faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, but there is no mandatory minimum when he is sentenced Dec. 7.