String of armed robberies nets woman six years in jail

An armed robber who hit four businesses in less than two weeks last spring was sentenced to six years in prison on Tuesday.

An armed robber who hit four businesses in less than two weeks last spring was sentenced to six years in prison on Tuesday.

Jennifer Maychak, 35, of Brooks, had earlier pleaded guilty to three counts of armed robbery and one count of attempted robbery during a span from April 18-28, 2015.

Maychak admitted to robbing the Candy Bag Sweet Shop, a Mac’s Convenience Store and an Express 24 Food Mart. She also admitted to an attempted, but failed, robbery of a Fas Gas.

During the robberies she was either armed with a screwdriver or a can of bear spray.

Crown prosecutor Ann MacDonald asked Red Deer provincial court Judge Gordon Yake for a sentence of six to eight years, pointing out the robberies were premeditated and Maychak had weapons and disguised herself.

While no one was injured during the robberies, she was targeting vulnerable workers at night, she said.

Defence lawyer Paul Morigeau said his client has struggled with drugs most of her life and was high on crystal meth and had barely slept during the time of the robberies.

Morigeau pointed out that she had no prior criminal record and took responsibility for the robberies after she was caught by police.

Standing a little over five-feet-tall (1.5 m), Maychak is hardly imposing and made no effort to use the screwdriver or bear spray during the robberies, said Morigeau.

She only made a few hundred dollars from the crimes, some of which was shared with an accomplice in at least one case.

“These were very unsophisticated crimes,” said Morigeau, who sought a sentence in the two- to four-year range.

Maychak expressed her remorse for her crimes.

“I’m not a career criminal,” she told the judge. “What I did was really wrong. I’m living the repercussions.

“I’m not a big threat to anybody but myself.”

Yake sentenced Maychak to three years in prison on each of the armed robbery charges, one of which is to be served concurrently. The attempted robbery charge netted a one-year concurrent sentence.

She was given 51 days credit for previous jail time, leaving her with a five-years and 314 days to serve. She must provide a sample of her DNA to a national database and faces weapons prohibitions when she gets out of prison.