Man charged with robbing cellular store — while on bail for gun and robbery cases

Tony Hampton | CPD

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new information from officials that present a different timeline from the one prosecutors gave in court during Tony Hampton’s latest bond court appearance.

A Chicago man was ordered held without bail Tuesday after prosecutors said he robbed a Cricket Wireless store while on bond for a gun case and on a separate bond for allegedly robbing a different Cricket location. It’s been a busy five weeks for Tony Hampton, if prosecutors’ allegations against him are true.

His troubles began April 30 after police pulled him over on the West Side for a traffic violation. When cops asked him to step out of the car, Hampton allegedly handed a cross-body bag he was wearing to his front seat passenger. As he did so, police could see the butt of a handgun inside the bag because it wasn’t zipped up, prosecutors said during a bond court hearing the next day.

They charged him with felony unlawful use of a weapon and Judge John Lyke said he could go home on electronic monitoring without paying any cash bail, according to court records. Meanwhile, police from South Chicago Heights learned that Hampton was in custody and secured felony robbery charges against him for a recent Cricket wireless store robbery in their city, officials said.

Hampton then posted a $10,000 deposit to get out of jail on the robbery case in early May.

Just three weeks after that, around 1 p.m. on May 25, Hampton walked into the Cricket Wireless at 1550 West 18th Street and started asking about phones, according to prosecutors and CPD records. He then allegedly followed a store employee behind the counter with his hand in his pocket as if he had a weapon.

“Don’t make me do it,” he allegedly told the clerk. “Go get a bag. Go to the back and grab phones.”

Hampton followed the worker into a back room and ordered him to put nine iPhones worth $5,041 into a Cricket bag, prosecutors said. Surveillance video shows him arriving in a silver Lincoln and leaving in the same car after the robbery, according to prosecutors. Store security cameras allegedly captured footage of the robbery. The store employee identified Hampton in a photo line-up last week and police arrested him Sunday as he drove a silver Lincoln, prosecutors said.

Judge Lyke, who gave Hampton a recognizance bond on the pending gun charge May 1, was on the bench Tuesday as prosecutors detailed the latest robbery Hampton’s accused of committing.

Lyke ordered him held without bail for violating the terms of bond in the pending cases and set bail at $500,000 for the new robbery. Hampton will need to post $50,000 and go onto electronic monitoring if he becomes eligible for release, Lyke said.

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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