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Plainfield robbery suspect pleads not guilty to crime spree

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Thomas S. Manaras Jr., 34, Plainfield[]

A robbery suspect who went on a five-minute crime spree pleaded not guilty to the charges and asked for his $2 million bond to be lowered.

Thomas S. Manaras Jr., 34, of Plainfield appeared before Will County judge Art Smigielski for a bond hearing Tuesday. A public defender was appointed for Manaras, who pleaded not guilty to aggravated robbery, robbery, financial institution robbery, unlawful possession of a stolen car and aggravated fleeing.

Manaras allegedly tried to rob a Burger King, a 7-Eleven and a Chase Bank branch while driving a stolen red Cadillac sports utility vehicle. He stole $12 from the 7-Eleven, police said.

Manaras has been jailed on a $2 million bond. He asked Smigielski if it could be lowered to about $100,000. Smigielski told him he would need to speak with his attorneys first.

A preliminary hearing in the case has been scheduled for July 3.

A relative of Manaras who asked not to be named attended the bond hearing. He claimed Manaras called from jail Monday afternoon to tell him he was trying to “do something stupid” so he could receive a long prison sentence and a “better chance at life.”

“He doesn’t last on the outside very long,” he said.

He said Manaras appeared “pretty confident” Tuesday given his history with being in and out of jail.

In 2015, Manaras pleaded guilty to failing to register as a sex offender three days after he was released from the Cook County jail, according to court records. He is registered as a sexual predator in Florida.