Man Gets 15 Years For Convenience Store Robbery, Was Suspected In 8 Other Hold-Ups

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.

Branch pleaded guilty earlier this year in exchange for a 7-year sentence.

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.

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