LINCOLNWOOD, IL – Two Chicago men and a boy are charged with armed robbery after authorities say they were among five people who robbed a Lincolnwood cellphone store at gunpoint on Sunday .
Thomas Wilson, 27, of the 100 block of North Hermitage Avenue, Brandon Doss, 18, of the 8600 block of South Aberdeen Street, and their juvenile co-defendant were arrested hours after authorities followed their location using items they had stolen.
Prosecutors said a member of the heist team under the age of 18 entered the AT&T store at 3701 Touhy Ave. wearing a mask shortly after 5:30 p.m., brandished a gun and told staff and the half-dozen customers in the store to get down.
Four other masked robbers entered the store. One of them put a screwdriver in the door to hold it open and they began rummaging through customers’ pockets and stealing their wallets and cellphones, prosecutors said.
The young accused grabbed a member of staff and demanded that he be let into the back room, where he was joined by two co-offenders who stuffed the boy’s backpack with electronic devices, prosecutors said. The other two thieves have not yet been charged.
The five thieves fled on Interstate 94 in a Kia, which they abandoned near a CTA Blue Line station. Police were able to track them using software on the stolen phones, prosecutors say.
“Later that evening, the Chicago Police Department received information about the location of the stolen devices from a security company that monitors cell phone store trackers,” the Cook County Assistant District Attorney said. , Alexandra O’Hehir.
Police followed the car carrying the stolen merchandise as it turned from North Avenue to Western Avenue in Chicago before arresting it, the prosecutor said.
In addition to the phones stolen from the store, officers reported finding several other cell phones in their car and a loaded .40 caliber Glock pistol fitted with a “switch” that allows it to fire like an automatic weapon.
“In total, officers recovered 27 stolen items, including 23 iPhones, three iPads and an Apple Watch,” O’Hehir said.
Wilson, who already has seven felony convictions, was sentenced to six years in state prison in 2018 for possession of a stolen motor vehicle and carjacking, O’Hehir said. Previous convictions include possession of stolen firearms, theft and burglary.
At the time of his arrest, he was out on bail awaiting trial on a repeat armed offender charge, according to the judge. He has four children, works at Macy’s and attends school part-time, his attorney said.
Doss, who just turned 18, had a lengthy criminal record in juvenile court, O’Hehir told the judge. This includes a 2019 conviction for possession of a stolen motor vehicle which led to a probation sentence, which he did not complete satisfactorily, and three carjacking convictions since 2020 which led to the juvenile detention.
The two adult defendants were held without bail during their initial court appearance in Skokie. They are due back in court on November 30. The young accused was charged in juvenile court.
Lincolnwood police said they received help with the investigation from the Illinois State Police and the Chicago Police Department.