7-Eleven robbery suspect is on parole for two separate felonies (He’s had a very busy year)

It’s been a hectic eleven months for Vontez Turner, who’s accused of robbing two Lincoln Park 7-Eleven stores on Sunday. | CPD; Google

Regular readers of CWBChicago have seen many examples of criminals being charged with violent crimes while being on parole or probation for other violent crimes. Today, we may have one of the all-time best (or is it worst?) examples of Cook County’s revolving door justice system.

It involves one of the two men arrested Sunday after two 7-Eleven stores were robbed in Lincoln Park. The men are suspected in at least six other convenience store robberies on the North Side in the past week, according to police.

Incredibly, in less than eleven months, one of the accused men has managed to “serve” two 18-month prison sentences, get paroled, and get arrested for robbing convenience stores while allegedly using a vehicle that was taken in a carjacking.

Not only is the man on parole, but he also managed to negotiate an incredible plea deal on a robbery and vehicular invasion case while serving time for a gun charge. Here’s the story:

Charges filed

Oates | CPD

Today, 23-year-old Tyler Oates and 20-year-old Vontez Turner were each charged with one count of felony armed robbery with a firearm and one count of robbery. They were due in bond court this afternoon.

Oates and Turner were arrested after they encountered police who were waiting for them to return to their getaway car after robbing a 7-Eleven store in the 1300 block of West Fullerton around 7:30 a.m. yesterday, according to a police report. The two are also charged with robbing a 7-Eleven at 2004 North Halsted with a handgun less than 20 minutes earlier.

Police said the getaway car that had been left idling behind the store was taken in an armed carjacking in the 2900 block of North Spaulding on Nov. 1st. The vehicle was said by a police officer on-scene to be “filled” with 7-Eleven merchandise. Neither Oates nor Turner is charged with possessing the stolen car. A third man who participated in the robberies remains at large.

Turner’s busy year

State records show that Turner was released from prison on Oct. 9th after serving half of an 18-month sentence for unlawful use of a firearm and a separate 18-month sentence for unlawful possession of a debit or credit card. Here’s a look at his very busy year:

Dec. 16, 2017: Arrested and charged with carrying a loaded handgun on the West Side. He was released on “affordable bail.”

January 10, 2018: Arrested and charged with robbing a man four days earlier in the victim’s garage in suburban Melrose Park. Taken was cash, credit cards, a phone, and jewelry. Turner is charged with felony robbery and felony burglary. He’s ordered held without bail.

Jan. 2018: Grand jury returns eight felony weapons counts against Turner in connection with the handgun incident.

Feb. 1, 2018: Grand jury returns eighteen felony counts including vehicular invasion, burglary, robbery, and identity theft in connection with the Melrose Park case.

Aug. 29, 2018: In the gun case, prosecutors drop seven of the felonies and Judge Erica Reddick sentences him to 18 months with 230 days credit for time spent sitting in jail awaiting trial

Sept. 4, 2018: Reports to Stateville Correctional Center

Sept. 27, 2018: While in prison for unlawful use of a weapon, he strikes a deal with prosecutors in the Melrose Park case. The state drops every charge except one count of unlawful possession of a credit card. Judge Geary Kull approves the deal and sentences Turner to 18-months with 260 days of credit for time served awaiting trial. (In typical Illinois fashion, the month that Turner sat in Stateville on the gun charge was credited toward his prison time for the credit card sentence.)

Oct. 9, 2018: Released from Stateville on parole after “completing” his gun and credit card sentences.

More to come?

Additional charges may be filed in connection with a string of other 7-Eleven robberies that police believe are connected to the same group of robbers:

• 6400 Block of West Diversey Ave. on Nov 5, 2018 at approximately 3:45 a.m.
• 2600 Block of North Clark St. on Nov 11, 2018 at approximately 5:20 a.m.
• 1300 Block of West Fullerton Ave. on Nov 11, 2018 at approximately 5:30 a.m.
• 2000 Block of North Damen Ave. on Nov 11, 2018 at approximately 5:45 a.m.
• 3600 Block of West Belmont Ave. on Nov 12, 2018 at approximately 5:15 a.m.
• 3000 Block of North Pulaski Rd. on Nov 16, 2018 at approximately 4:20 a.m.
• 4300 Block of North Kimball Ave. on Nov 16, 2018 at approximately 5:10 a.m.

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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 news@cwbchicago.com