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Man identified in Sparta robbery

Rick Lee Nyenhuis

Rick Lee Nyenhuis

A man arrested in the armed robbery of a Sparta gas station last week was just paroled in March after serving time in prison on other armed robbery charges.

Rick Lee Nyenhuis, 45, of Grand Rapids, was arrested after he allegedly robbed the AGO gas station at 560 E. Division (13 Mile), in the Village of Sparta, about 8:40 p.m. Monday, June 9. Police said he pulled out a knife and demanded money when the clerk opened the drawer to give him change for a purchase. He then reached across the counter and took all the money out of the drawer and fled. A witness saw him run west across the parking lot and enter a dark-colored minivan, then head westbound on 13 Mile. Kent County Sheriff Deputy Matt Batchelder noticed the van with the man on M37 near 10 Mile, and eventually stopped the man and arrested him after backup arrived.

He was arraigned Tuesday, June 10, in 63rd District Court on one count of armed robbery, one count of possession of cocaine, one count of habitual offender-4th offense. Bond was set at $100,000 cash surety.

He looks to also be facing another armed robbery charge. On Monday, June 16, he was charged through Grandville 59th District Court with one count of armed robbery, and one count of being a habitual offender-4th offense. Bond was set at $100,000 cash surety.

Nyenhuis committed offenses in 1986 that sent him to prison, including breaking and entering a building, larceny from a building, and unlawfully driving away an automobile. In 1990 he was sentenced again for breaking and entering a building, and in 1994 was sentenced on two counts of armed robbery. In 2004, he was sentenced on another count of armed robbery. He was paroled March 11, 2014, and had only been out 3 months and one day before committing the Sparta robbery. It was unknown at press time when the Grandville robbery was committed.

Nyenhuis was still in custody at press time.

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