Armed Robber Wears Woman’s Wig in Attempt to Evade Detective Who Was Staking Out Apartment in Elmhurst

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Bennie Gates, charged with Armed Robbery with a Firearm (DuPage County State's Attorney's Office)
Bennie Gates, charged with Armed Robbery with a Firearm after allegedly a man who gave him ride from Chicago to Elmhurst (DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office).

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and Elmhurst Chief of Police Michael McLean announced Sunday, July 7, 2024 that Judge Jeffrey MacKay granted the State’s motion to deny pre-trial release for a Chicago resident accused of robbing a man at gunpoint outside an Elmhurst apartment complex. Bennie Gates, age 19, of the block of 6100 South Loomis Boulevard in Chicago, appeared in First Appearance Court this morning charged with one count of Armed Robbery with a Firearm, a Class X Felony.

Bennie Gates was also charged with Criminal Damage to Property Less Than $500, Obstructing a Police Officer, Firefighter, or Correctional Employee.

Friday, July 5, 2024, at approximately 7:09 a.m., Elmhurst police officers on patrol in the area of Berkely Avenue and St. Charles Road were flagged down by an individual who told the officers he had just been robbed by an armed man, later identified as Bennie Gates. Through the course of their investigation, the police officers learned that the victim had offered Gates a ride to Elmhurst for $40 after picking him up from the Chicago Greyhound Bus Station. Allegedly, when the victim dropped Gates off at the Elmhurst Terrace Apartments, Gates exited the vehicle, walked around to the driver’s side, pulled out a handgun from his waist band and told the victim, “you didn’t know I had a gun did you?”

The Elmhurst Terrace Apartments are located on St Charles Road just east of Kingery Highway (Route 83).

Allegedly, Bennie Gates demanded his $40 fare back from the victim, and instructed the victim to get his suitcase from the trunk, which he did. Next, Gates left the area, walking east on Fellows Court. Several hours later, while surveilling an apartment where they believed Gates was inside, an Elmhurst detective observed an Uber arrive at the apartment and what appeared to be a female in a bomber jacket with long hair and a beanie exit the apartment and get in the Uber vehicle. The detective followed the Uber vehicle, and effected a traffic stop, according to the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office. Upon making contact with the passenger in the Uber, the detective identified the passenger as a male wearing a wig. Allegedly, the male, later identified as Gates, ran from the detective, crossing six lanes of traffic. Using a helicopter, K-9 officers and drones, authorities located and apprehended Gates hiding in a nearby detached garage.

“It is alleged that Mr. Gates robbed at gunpoint an innocent man who had just given him a ride back from Chicago. It is further alleged that once Mr. Gates became aware that law enforcement was looking for him, he attempted to flee the scene in an Uber while disguised as a woman. Thanks to the vigilance and outstanding, heads-up work of the Elmhurst Police Department, Mr. Gates’ attempt to disguise himself as a woman did not fool anyone. Thankfully, the victim in this case was not injured. I thank the Chicago Police Department for helicopter air support, the Elmhurst Police Department for drone air support as well as the Bloomingdale Police Department, the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office and the West Chicago Police Department for K-9 support. I also thank the Villa Park, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace and Addison Police Department for their assistance. The collaborative work of these law enforcement agencies sends the message that in DuPage County we will use every tool available to us to ensure public safety. I also thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Michael Pingaj and Philip Ungar for their work in preparing a strong case against the defendant.”

— DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin

“This arrest is a testament to the diligence of our police officers, who work tirelessly to protect the community. The fact this individual remained in hiding for approximately ten hours while detectives maintained watch over the search area demonstrates their unwavering commitment to safeguard Elmhurst from dangerous criminal activity. Thank you to the officers involved in this case for their vigilance and our partners in the community who notified police when they saw suspicious activity in their neighborhood. I also thank State’s Attorney Bob Berlin and his staff for their continued support.”

— Elmhurst Chief of Police Michael McLean

Gates’ next court appearance is scheduled for July 29, 2024, for arraignment in front of Judge Ann Celine O’Hallaren Walsh.

Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendant’s guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

— DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office


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