A Riverdale man who went to prison for robbing a passenger at the Clark-Division Red Line station in 2018 was back in court Thursday to face charges of carjacking a driver at the same intersection in November.
Judge Arthur Willis ordered Robert Pinkston, 39, held without bail.
“He literally returned to the proverbial scene of his last violent crime to commit the one that is before this court today,” Assistant State’s Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said.
Around 7 p.m. on November 27, a 30-year-old man parked his Toyota RAV4 on the 1200 block of North Clark and ran into the nearby Jewel-Osco. Scaduto said the man noticed Pinkston walking toward him in a Cleveland Cavaliers jacket as he approached the store.
When the victim came out a few minutes later, Pinkston followed him to his car and pulled out a handgun as they arrived at the man’s car, Scaduto said. The man reportedly told police that he thought the carjacker would shoot him if he didn’t turn over his keys.
He dropped the keys on the ground. Pinkston picked them up and drove away with the RAV4, Scaduto said. A nearby CPD surveillance camera recorded the entire incident, she said.
Five days later, Pinkston was knocked unconscious when he crashed with two other cars in south suburban Posen, according to Scaduto. Posen cops could not contact the SUV’s owner, so prosecutors only charged him with criminal trespass to vehicle and driving on a suspended or revoked license after the accident.
Meanwhile, Chicago police detectives continued to work the case. They sent surveillance images of the carjacker to Posen cops who handled the car crash, and they identified the suspect as Pinkston, Scaduto said.
CPD officers arrested Pinkston at his home Tuesday.
Pinkston’s public defender pointed out that the victim could not identify him in a photo line-up.
On August 24, 2018, Pinkston robbed a 28-year-od man at the Clark-Division Red Line station, located at almost exactly the same spot where the driver was carjacked in November, Scaduto said.
“I have a gun. You know what this is,” Pinkston allegedly told the man before ordering him to empty his pockets and hand over his cash.
When cops found Pinkston sitting at a nearby bus stop a few minutes later, he was carrying a revolver loaded with six live rounds and one spent round, Scaduto said.
He eventually pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a weapon in exchange for a two-year prison sentence. He received 299 days credit for time served, a 50% sentence reduction for good behavior, and was released in August 2019 — one year after the hold-up.