Cops Bag Two Robbery Suspects Near Belmont Red Line Station (And, YES, one of ’em is on parole)

CTA Commendations issued to 19th District Officers | Chicago Police Dept

Sharp-eyed 19th district cops on patrol near Belmont and Sheffield last Friday morning arrested two men wanted in connection with a series of armed robberies along CTA train routes, the agency announced in a commendation to the officers this morning.

Now, CWB Chicago has learned more about the cases and the arrestees—one of whom is on parole for committing two robberies less than a block from the Belmont CTA station in 2013.

Robinson (Left) and Smith | Chicago Police Dept

Around 4:30 a.m. last Friday, two officers, saw 20-year-old Thomas E. Smith and 20-year-old Edward V. Robinson standing outside of Cheesie’s Pub, 958 West Belmont, and believed the men resembled two robbery suspects whose photos were distributed to Chicago police by the CTA’s security team.

Smith and Robinson were taken into custody and have now been charged with the armed robbery of a man near the Grand Blue Line station on October 28, according to court records.

The men are suspects in at least four other robberies near train stations over the past few weeks according to the CTA:

• Near the Morse Red Line station at 10:30 p.m. on October 27
• Near the Jackson Red Line station at 12:00 a.m. on October 28
Near the Belmont Red Line station at 4 a.m. on October 28
• Near the Clark/Division Red Line station at 1:25 a.m. on October 31

Smith was paroled on March 16 after serving a fraction of two four-year sentences that he received for committing two robberies in our neighborhood in September 2013.

In addition to the armed robbery counts, Robinson is charged with manufacture-delivery of cocaine and obstructing identification. Cops say he initially identified himself as “Edwin Williams” to defeat identification.

Police say they also found five Ziploc baggies filled with a white powdery substance that Robinson said was baking soda that he sells as cocaine to drunk patrons on Belmont Avenue, police said.

Unfortunately for Robinson—but fortunate for our neighborhood—packaging baking soda in small baggies carries the same felony charge as packing actual cocaine.

Police said Robinson is a documented Gangster Disciples street gang member.

A judge set bail for Robinson and Thomas at $400,000 each.

A Bonus Turkey

Thomas | Chicago Police Dept

Police bagged a third turkey along with Robinson and Smith.

Lynda Thomas, a 35-year-old Lincoln Square woman, was taken into custody and charged with resisting or obstructing police because she “made numerous attempts to interfere with [the] investigation by pushing and yelling” at officers, prosecutors said.

Excellent job, Lynda. Mind your own business next time.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is