Prosecutors: Man murdered pedestrian, carjacked woman, robbed 3 restaurants — on Tuesday

Taevon Abston | CPD

Prosecutors say a West Side man and two accomplices went on a violent crime spree Tuesday, killing a man seemingly at random on the street, carjacking a woman, and robbing three Dunkin’ locations before police caught up with them.

Investigators strongly suspect the crew is connected to a weeks-long pattern of similar crimes across the city and suburbs, including an armed carjacking outside Willis Tower in January.

Taevon Abston, 18, is charged with first-degree murder, aggravated vehicular hijacking with a firearm, two counts of armed robbery with a firearm, attempted armed robbery with a firearm, and aggravated unlawful use of a loaded weapon.

His alleged accomplices are an adult man whose charges are pending and a juvenile who remained at large Friday. Prosecutors said the three are members of the Beam Team Gang, which part of the New Breeds street gang.

The trio’s crime spree Tuesday began around 5:20 a.m. when Abston and the juvenile robbed the Dunkin’ at 3310 West Addison in the Irving Park neighborhood.

Abston’s adult accomplice, referred to only as “Walker” during Friday’s hearing, drove the crew around in a security company’s Chevy Equinox that had been carjacked earlier in the day, according to prosecutors. The vehicle had an emergency light bar on its roof and a key lock box on the driver’s door that made it easy for police and victims to identify.

Abston also wore a distinctive black hoodie with a shark jaw design and a flat-brim baseball hat with a gold sticker throughout the crime spree, and his gun was equipped with a strobe flashlight that he activated during robberies, according to prosecutors.

About 20 minutes after robbing the Irving Park restaurant, Walker drove the crew onto the 700 block of North Trumbull, which prosecutors said is rival gang territory.

Abston and the juvenile fired shots from the back seat of the hijacked Equinox, killing 53-year-old Guillermo Quiles as he walked on the sidewalk, prosecutors said. Police later found five shell casings in the street.

Then, around 6:22 a.m., the trio pulled up to a Dunkin’ on the 5000 block of West Grand. After Abston placed an order at the counter, the juvenile reportedly walked in, pointed a gun at the employees, and jumped the counter. Abston allegedly activated the strobe on his gun and tried to take money from the register but failed. The crew fled without getting any proceeds, according to prosecutors.

Six minutes later, Abston and the juvenile allegedly carjacked a woman at gunpoint in the 2000 block of North Pulaski. The juvenile tapped the woman on her head with a firearm and commandeered her Kia, which sped from the area, followed by Walker in the security company’s Equinox.

Then, around 10:13 p.m. Tuesday night, Abston drove a Toyota RAV4 to the Dunkin’ at 5000 West Irving Park and pulled up to the drive-thru window. He then climbed through the window while carrying the handgun with its flash strobe attached, prosecutors said. He pointed a gun at the employees, demanded money, and threatened to kill them if they did not hand over cash, according to prosecutors.

He then crawled out of the drive-thru window and drove away, prosecutors said.

Several other robberies were reported around the same time, but no charges were filed in those cases Friday.

Shortly after midnight, cops who were monitoring a CPD “blue light” camera saw two men get out of the RAV4 in front of Abston’s home. Officers realized the vehicle had been taken in an armed carjacking earlier this week in the West Town area, and patrol officers were sent to the scene.

Walker and Abston were arrested at the scene. As police searched Abston, a handgun equipped with a strobe flashlight fell to the ground, prosecutors said. Preliminary analysis allegedly linked the gun to shell casings found at the murder scene.

Both men had cash in their pockets, prosecutors said, adding that Abston was still wearing clothing with a shark jaw design at the time of his arrest. All of the crimes that the men are charged with were captured on surveillance video.

During questioning, Abston identified Walker and the juvenile as his accomplices during the crime spree, prosecutors alleged.

Judge Arthur Willis ordered Abston held without bail.

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