Investigators from six police departments in the northwest suburbs are working on several cases of armed robberies that they believe are connected. An offender has robbed Mexican restaurants and Mexican grocery or convenience stores in the northwest suburbs in recent months. Three of the robberies occurred within a 90-minute time period on Friday, December 30, 2016 in Elk Grove Village, Des Plaines, and Schaumburg.
The first robbery on Friday December 30, 2016 occurred about 7:00 p.m. at the El Marcedito convenience store at 1053 N. Salem in Schaumburg. The male offender walked into the store, picked out a bag of chips and a soda, and then demanded cash while displaying a handgun.
The store clerk opened the register and emptied the register, giving the robber about $1,300.
50 Minutes Later …
A male offender with a mustache and goatee entered Mariscos Miramar (formerly Las Islas Mexicanas), 1251 E. Higgins Road in Elk Grove Village at about 7:47 p.m., and displayed a handgun, police said. The robber took about $500 from the restaurant, according to police.
30 Minutes Later …
A male offender with a mustache robbed Nuevo Mexico grocery store at 1920 Mannheim Road in Des Plaines at about 8:17 p.m. The robber placed items on the counter, then pulled a black handgun from his waistband when the clerk opened the register. The man pointed the gun at the employee, who then handed over cash, according to police report.
In each robbery, the offender is described as a male/Hispanic in his 40s or 50s, standing about 5′ 10″ and weighing 180 pounds, police said. The man wore a black jacket, blue jeans, a gray baseball cap and brown work boots. He may also have been wearing a black knit hat over the gray baseball hat.
The same man is also a suspect in a robbery at Tortas Locas, 1827 W. Algonquin Road in Mount Prospect on December 7, 2016. A male offender wearing a black mask displayed a gun, demanded money, and fled with cash in a silver SUV. The Tortas Locas robbery is not posted on the official Mount Prospect Police Department news listings.
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IMPORTANT ALERT …
Cardinal Note: Police incidents related to the police agencies investigating the above cases are not reported in real time or within a prompt time period. Police protecting their realm of investigation and police activity, have chosen to use secret military-grade encrypted radios to withhold their police communications, which were previously open to the public and news media via monitoring of public safety scanning radios — with no known negative results locally.
The delayed knowledge or entirely blacked out knowledge resulting from encrypted police communications may protect certain police operations and investigations, but it also puts the public at risk in situations such as when armed and dangerous offenders are at large and when other similar situations occur, such as when desperate offenders of property crimes are eluding police. In other cases, the delayed or blacked out information inhibits or prohibits the possibility of the public providing early witness accounts before a criminal trail goes cold. Citizens are much more likely to recognize or recall suspicious or criminal activity if they are aware of the criminal incident within minutes or hours of its occurrence. The most serious incident involving dire results would be a trail that is allowed to go cold in the case of child abduction.
The lack of real time information from public police dispatch also weakens an effective neighborhood watch program mostly working to prevent property loss, but also working to prevent possible violent crimes.
Lack of real time information from police dispatch also delays public awareness or eliminates public awareness of general hazards and traffic or other situations in every day living in an otherwise economically thriving community.
Police have alternate ways to transmit tactical, operational or investigative information, while still keeping their main public dispatch channels open for the best balance of public safety and police safety.