Unarmed robbery of vape cartridge yields prison term.

March 2, 2022

Wesley Hackert consults with his attorney Ashley Siegel.

Unarmed robbery of vape cartridge yields prison term.

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By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

LUDINGTON – A 36-year-old man was sentenced to a prison term of 29 months to 30 years for a conviction of unarmed robbery in 51st Circuit Court Tuesday, March 1.

Wesley Donald Hackert pleaded guilty, Jan. 11.

Hackert, who was homeless at the time, was arrested in February of 2021 by Ludington police officers for robbing AGS Vape Shop, located at 103 S. James St. 

Hackert was confronted by a store employee at the register after the employee witnessed him place two vape refills in his pocket and only claimed to have one. Once confronted, Hackert produced an unfolded pocket knife from his pocket and placed it on the counter. He then put his hands on either side of the open knife and asked the clerk, “What are you gonna do if I run?” The clerk backed away at that point. Hackert then grabbed the knife and left the store with the stolen vanilla-flavored vape refill in his pocket.  

He was found walking several minutes later and was arrested.  

After Hackert was lodged in the Mason County Jail, it was discovered that he also stole two shot glasses from the other AGS store located at 111 E. Ludington Ave. 

Hackert, who was lodged in the Mason County Jail on a $50,000 cash bond, appeared in court Tuesday with his attorney Ashley Siegel.

I’m sorry for what I did,” he said. “My intention was not to rob that store. I had the money on me to pay for the goods.”

In exchange for his plea, a felony count of armed robbery — which carries a maximum term of life in prison — and two misdemeanor counts of retail fraud were dismissed.

Unarmed robbery is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, said Mason County Assistant Prosecutor Beth Hand. Hackert’s habitual offender status elevated the maximum possible term for unarmed robbery to life imprisonment, said Hand, adding that he has eight prior felony convictions and 17 misdemeanors. 

Sentencing guidelines in the case are 29-114 months, said the assistant prosecutor. He was “under the influence of intoxication” at the time of offense. “The store clerk was placed in fear due to the defendant showing a knife.”

Hackert, who has been in jail for 375 days, has been serving as a trustee for almost 10 months, said Siegel. He has also been working with Community Mental Health, she added.

“He was not using the knife in a threatening way, but I believe the clerk was in fear,” said the defense attorney. “I’m not downplaying the seriousness at all.”

“The police report says something similar to what Mr. Hackert described,” said Judge Susan K. Sniegowski. “He stole a vape refill valued at $5.” The judge said she did not want to downplay the seriousness of the case. “It does deserve a prison term — no question about that.”

Hackert received credit for the 375 days he has served in jail.

According to Michigan Department of Corrections records, Hackert was discharged from prison April 7, 2020 after serving an 18-month to 15-year term for convictions of larceny in building, possession of a narcotic/cocaine and marijuana possession. He was sentenced on those convictions March 1, 2016.

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