LAKE BLUFF – The Verizon store in Lake Bluff was robbed at gunpoint and its sales associates were tied and held against their will in the back of the store late Friday afternoon while traffic buzzed by unaware on Route 176 and shoppers filled their carts at the Heinen’s grocery store nearby.
Here’s what happened, according to Lake Bluff Deputy Police Chief Mike Hosking:
At around 4:13 p.m. on September 8, two men entered the Verizon store through the front door of the Verizon store in the Carriage Way shopping center at 235 S. Waukegan Road in Lake Bluff.
One of the suspects was armed with a semi-automatic hand gun. They ordered one of the employees to open the safe and remove 20-plus cell phones and other devices. They tied up both employees with zip ties and fled the scene from the back door into a get-away car driven by a third suspect.
“It was a busy time of day but I don’t think anyone in the shopping plaza knew anything was going on,” Deputy Chief Hosking told DailyNorthShore.
As soon as they could, the employees called 911, notifying police agencies in Lake Bluff, Lake Forest and Highland Park. The police car chase began somewhere in Lake Forest and continued into Highland Park until the suspects’ vehicle got into a traffic accident near the Jewel grocery store on Old Deerfield Road.
“They drove one more block, jumped out of the car and took off running,” said Hosking. Amidst the confusion of multiple squad cars, two of the suspects wound up running into the Highland Park Police Station and were apprehended there, he said. The third jumped a brick wall behind the station. “A police officer was standing right there,” he added.
The three suspects are in custody awaiting charges by the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office. Hosking said all have Chicago addresses.
There were no injuries.
The suspects’ vehicle was itself a stolen car, Hosking said. It was reported stolen in Chicago on September 5.
DailyNorthShore will update this story as information becomes available.