A man who may have been involved in the armed robberies of nine convenience stores last year has pleaded guilty to one hold-up in exchange for a stiff 15-year sentence.
|Thomas (left) and Branch | Ill Dept of Corrections, Chicago Police Dept|
Prosecutors said 25-year-old Mitchell Thomas and 24-year-old Jamie Branch were arrested after they robbed a West Town 7-Eleven store at 3 a.m. on March 27, 2015.
Cops said Thomas pistol-whipped an employee at the store and then fled from police who happened upon the scene while the robbery was underway.
Two other suspects who fled from Branch’s vehicle when it crashed during a police pursuit were never found.
The couple was suspected of carrying out at least eight other armed robberies of convenience stores during a 2-week spree in 2015, including several in our neighborhood:
• 7-Eleven, Broadway & Waveland, at 3:45AM on Wednesday, March 11
• 7-Eleven, Clark & Southport, at 3:30AM on Friday, March 20
• 7-Eleven, Clark & Southport, at 8:17AM on Sunday, March 22 (2nd robbery at this store)
• 7-Eleven, 2710 Lincoln, at 2:15AM on Wednesday, March 25
• 7-Eleven, 1349 Fullerton, at 2:23AM on Wednesday, March 25
• Circle K/Shell, Diversey & Racine, 2:23AM on March 27
• 7-Eleven, 2600 Lincoln, 2:30AM on March 27
• 7-Eleven, Halsted & Grand, on Friday, March 20 (They would be arrested after robbing this store again on March 27, police said.)
Under Illinois’ standard 50-percent reduction in sentencing, Mitchell will be paroled on September 16, 2022, and Branch will be let loose on August 8, 2018.