2 counts in 12 Chicago-area robberies
Two men have been charged with federal charges of at least 12 armed robberies in the Chicago area, including one in Round Lake Beach, prosecutors said.
Falandis Russell, 25, of Chicago, and Terrance Williams, 24, of Chicago, have both been charged with conspiracy to commit theft.
Both men wore masks and wielded dangerous weapons in 12 robberies from July 2020 to January 2021, according to an indictment in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
Russell and Williams stole jewelry worth more than $ 305,000 as well as more than $ 22,000 in cash, according to the indictment.
The FBI conducted the investigation in conjunction with the Chicago, Calumet City, Summit, Burbank, Bolingbrook, Round Lake Beach, Hammond (Ind.), Streamwood and Arlington Heights Police Departments.
“The charges in this important case are the result of the strong partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in the Chicago area,” said US Attorney John Lausch. “We will continue to work together to hold violent offenders accountable.”
Two thefts were committed by Russell and Williams in August. These two included a Midwest title and loan in Burbank and Cash America in Chicago.
Two more thefts were carried out by Russell and other unidentified suspects in August, including the EZ Pawn in Summit and a Cash America in Chicago.
Russell and Williams robbed the Helzberg Diamonds in Bolingbrook in September, then robbed the EZ Pawn on October 13 in the 300 block of West Rollins Road in Round Lake Beach.
Eight days later, after the Round Lake Beach robbery, the duo stole an EZ Pawn in Chicago.
The pair robbed a Cash America store in Chicago on November 6, followed by another Cash America store in Hammond, Indiana on December 16.
The last two thefts took place in January when Russell and other unidentified suspects raided the EZ Pawn in Streamwood on January 19.
Three days later, Russell and Williams stole an EZ Pawn in Arlington Heights.
FBI agents were able to link the two men to the spate of armed robberies after recovering DNA from the Round Lake Beach robbery.
“The defendants are charged with a wave of violent crimes in several states with 12 armed robberies in almost as many communities,” said FBI Special Agent Emmerson Buie.
“The public should feel safer when doing business at local establishments, and we hope they feel safe knowing that justice is being served,” Buie said.
Russell is currently in law enforcement custody and pleaded not guilty during his arraignment hearing on Tuesday.
Williams was released on bail and he appeared Wednesday for an arraignment hearing in federal court.
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