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Press Release

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 are 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.”

Oak Park Man and Family Threatened with Death at his Back Door and Forced to give Credit Card and Code for ATM, at 4:45p.m.

On Monday, July 14, 2014  at about 4:15 p.m. an Oak Park man was leaving out the back door of his house on the 200 block of Clinton when he was confronted by two young black youths, one brandishing what appeared to be a 9mm semi-automatic handgun.

The homeowner was instructed by the young man with the gun to handover his credit card and to give the PIN number so that his associate could withdraw funds from his ATM account.

The young man with the gun pointed at the victim said that he would stay there with him on his back porch until the funds were obtained by his friend.  The young man threatend to kill him and to go into the house and kill his children too if the transaction did not go through.

The children inside and their baby sitter were unaware of the crime being committed out their rear door.  The victim spent nearly 20 minutes with the robber at his house.  The victim was getting concerned why it was taking so long.  The two young men were communicating by telephone and when the call came back that they had taken a reported $500.00 from the ATM.

The victim was concerned that his two next door neighbors might come out of their back doors, since it was the time that too might be coming home from work.

The brazen and dangerous move to get a few hundred dollars has many in the community in fear.  The frightening part is that this was a random crime against a family.

The two young black men fit a similar crime a few days earlier on Euclid in Oak Park.  Two young black men with the same discription robbed in daylight a citizen, but without taking the victims card for an ATM.

There are photos of both men taken from the ATM transaction as well as from a local convenient  store where the masterminds used the stolen credit card to make purchases.  The two young black men had no obvious distinguishing characteristics, no gang tatoos, or other unusual traits.  The lack of thought in this crime to the consequences and risks taken helps to assure their capture by the police.  When they are captured and brought to trial they may very well end up as someones girl friend in prison and we hope that is soon so that people will sleep a little better.

The man who was robbed had no  gated back yard and a cat for a pet.  Cats often do not do a great job of warning of intruders.  A small dog adopted from our local Animal Care League would have barked with someone in the yard or at the back door.

Police Give Further Information and Photos. Request Help in Locating Criminals.


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