Update: Two men accused of robbing vulnerable victims reach plea deals

Two men who were separately accused of robbing vulnerable victims in the city have reached plea deals with prosecutors, according to court records.

The first man, Thomas Collins of south suburban South Holland, pleaded guilty to robbing a 14-year-old and a 16-year-old in two hold-ups on the Red Line during January 2020.

Thomas Collins | CPD

Judge Williams Rainese sentenced him to a pair of four-year terms to be served concurrently. Collins will receive 400 days credit for time served before pleading and a 50% sentence reduction for good behavior.

Police said Collins, now 19, threatened to shoot a 14-year-old boy if the juvenile did not hand over his valuables while riding a Red Line train near the Roosevelt Red Line station around 2:30 p.m. on January 8 last year.

Two days later, Collins displayed the handle of a handgun as he robbed a 16-year-old boy on a Red Line train on the 100 block of North State around 1:40 p.m., according to the state’s allegations.

The second man, Michael Williams, 18, was accused of beating up and robbing an autistic man less than a week after getting a recognizance bond for allegedly battering another victim during a 7-on-1 mugging in Rogers Park, according to court records.

Michael Williams | CPD

Prosecutors said Williams punched an autistic man in the face and stole his phone, iPod, and cash on the 7200 block of North Damen in August 2019.

Just five days before the autistic man was mugged, Williams was charged with battery after his 45-year-old neighbor identified him as one of seven people who punched and kicked him during a robbery, police said. Williams was released on a recognizance bond in that case.

Last week, Judge Shelley-Sutker sentenced Williams to three years for robbing the autistic victim. After getting a 50% sentence reduction and credit for 569 days spent on electronic monitoring before trial, he is not expected to spend any time in prison.

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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