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Suspects held in connection with Clinton Avenue armed robbery

July 23, 2014 - Four suspects are in custody in connection with an armed robbery Mon., July 14 in the 200 block of Clinton Avenue where a homeowner was held at gunpoint for several minutes by two men, while the other two used his ATM card at local merchants.

An alert Oak Park Police officer spotted a car similar to the one believed to have been used in the robbery traveling east on Washington Boulevard at Taylor Avenue at about 5 p.m., yesterday (Tues., July 22). The officer stopped the car in the 300 block of North Austin Boulevard and determined that two individuals in the vehicle fit the descriptions provided by the robbery victim and from a surveillance video.

The investigation revealed the identity of two other men believed to have been involved. Both of the identified men were already being held in Cook County Jail for unrelated incidents.

The names of the suspects in custody cannot be released until charges have been filed by the Cook County State’s Attorney.

Oak Park Police Chief Rick C. Tanksley credited the FBI’s Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory with playing a key role in the investigation. Tanksley said the lab was able to take details from a surveillance video and provide information on the make, model and color of the vehicle thought to have been used in the crime.

“Identifying the individuals believed to have been involved in this crime was made possible by our longstanding relationships with other law enforcement agencies in the area and old-fashioned, fundamental on-the-street police work,” Tanksley said.

“The victim and video gave us good descriptions of the suspects, the lab gave us a strong lead on the vehicle and an alert officer used his training, instinct and good information to make the traffic stop.”

The robbery, which occurred at about 4:30 p.m., understandably caused concern in the neighborhood, according to Tanksley. The homeowner was confronted as he exited the rear of his residence by two men who took his cell phone and wallet, then demanded the personal identification number (PIN) for his bank debit card.

One of the offenders apparently gave the card and information to accomplices who attempted to make ATM withdrawals at Tasty Dog, 708 Lake St., and 7-11, 661 South Blvd., while the victim was held at gunpoint for several minutes, with family members inside and unaware of the incident unfolding steps away.

“We understand how such a brazen crime can create concern in a tight-knit neighborhood like those in Oak Park,” Tanksley said. “These types of incidents are rare, but when they do occur, we want the community to know that the Oak Park Police Department will utilize every resource available to ensure that those responsible are apprehended and held accountable.”