Man who robbed McDonald's worker at knifepoint gets 11 years in prison

Dalton Nelson was sentenced for robbing a McDonalds.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - A former fast food worker is heading to prison for grabbing a bag full of cash at one McDonald’s restaurant and using a knife to rob a different Kent County McDonald’s less than two week later.

Dalton Voltaire Nelson, 52, was sentenced to concurrent prison terms of more than a decade for armed robbery and embezzlement.

Kent County Circuit Court Judge Dennis Leiber on Thursday also ordered that Nelson pay more than $3,700 in restitution to McDonald’s.

Nelson, who has a lengthy criminal record, “admits to daily cocaine use,’’ court records show.

He was working at a McDonald’s on 44th Street east of Kalamazoo Avenue SE in Kentwood earlier this year when he walked off with a bag containing $2,265 in deposits. Investigators say Nelson grabbed the bag of cash from a manager’s office, stuffed it inside his shirt and left the building. He did not return.

He was eventually charged with embezzlement for the Jan. 20 heist. Eleven days later, he’s accused of walking into the McDonald’s on Plainfield Avenue near Woodworth Street NE about 5 a.m. and robbing an employee at knifepoint.

Nelson obtained cash and returned to the nearby Lazy T Motel, where he had been staying. A police tracking dog followed him to the motel. He was eventually arrested by a police tactical team.

Leiber sentenced Nelson to between two and five years for embezzlement and 11 to 33 years for armed robbery. The sentences will be served at the same time.

In exchange for his guilty pleas, the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office dismissed habitual offender charges that could have increased Nelson’s time behind bars.

Nelson has numerous convictions dating back more than a decade. Prior convictions include breaking and entering, larceny and a 2014 embezzlement conviction.

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