Chicago — A man on parole for trying to rob an off-duty Chicago police officer in the Loop committed a string of ill-planned yet horrifying crimes on Sunday, including a carjacking and a terribly botched armed robbery in the Kenwood neighborhood, prosecutors say.
Judge Susana Ortiz ordered Isaias Saucedo-Ugalde held without bail during a court hearing on Tuesday afternoon.
We first introduced you to Saucedo-Ugalde in April 2020 after he was accused of trying to rob a Chicago cop during the early days of the COVID outbreak. The 22-year-old officer, like many first responders during the early months of the pandemic, had been staying at the Essex Hotel near Grant Park rather than risk taking the virus home to his family, prosecutors said at the time.
Saucedo-Ugalde, holding his hand under his sweater as if he had a gun, followed the off-duty cop into a parking garage near the hotel and tapped the officer on his shoulder.
“I have a gun,” Saucedo-Ugalde allegedly said, demanding the officer’s car keys. “I will shoot you.”
The cop tossed his keys to Saucedo-Ugalde, tackled him, and held him at gunpoint until on-duty police arrived.
Saucedo-Ugalde, who was on parole for another robbery at the time of the incident, pleaded guilty and received a four-year sentence from Judge Ursula Walowski in May 2021. He was paroled this spring.
On Sunday, the day before his 24th birthday, Saucedo-Ugalde allegedly launched a crime spree that was both poorly conceived and frightening.
It started around 12:45 a.m. when he pointed a gun at a delivery driver who was dropping off supplies at Dunkin’, 1400 East 47th Street, prosecutor Sarah Dale-Schmidt during Tuesday’s court session.
He forced the driver into the store and ordered him to open the register. The driver tried to explain that he was merely making deliveries and couldn’t access the store’s money or keys. But Saucedo-Ugaldo didn’t believe the driver, and, while repeatedly trying to rack the slide of a handgun, he ordered the man to try every single key on his key ring in the register drawer, according to Dale-Schmidt. They didn’t work.
Next, he ordered the driver to pick up the entire register and marched him into the back office at gunpoint, where Saucedo-Ugaldo robbed the man of his personal property, gave him a hammer, and told him to smash the register until it opened. After much effort, the drawer finally opened, but it only contained a few pennies, Dale-Schmidt said.
Saucedo-Ugaldo locked the driver inside the restaurant’s walk-in freezer. And, when the driver used an emergency release to free himself a few minutes later, Saucedo-Ugaldo was still there, looking at him.
In another spectacularly bad decision, Saucedo-Ugaldo gave the victim the keys to the delivery truck and ordered him to give Saucedo-Ugaldo a ride to Saucedo-Ugaldo’s car, Dale-Schmidt said.
But, as Saucedo-Ugaldo led the driver to the front of the store at gunpoint, a passerby looked into the restaurant window. The driver raised his hands over his head and mouthed, “Call the police.”
Dale-Schmidt said that Saucedo-Ugaldo thought the driver was “acting suspicious,” so he forced him out the back door, led him down an alley, and then left.
Chicago police officers arrived moments later and began speaking with the delivery driver.
Meanwhile, Saucedo-Ugaldo spotted a 66-year-old man who was dropping off his stepdaughter at a residential building near the Dunkin’. Dale-Schmidt said that he forced them out of the car at gunpoint and drove away with it. The victim’s stepdaughter ran up to police officers at the Dunkin’ to report the carjacking.
Yet Saucedo-Ugaldo was not done, according to the allegations.
Around 2:10 a.m., he drove the hijacked car into a McKinley Park gas station and tried to use the Dunkin’ delivery driver’s credit cards. On his way out, he stole a newspaper delivery driver’s car, which had been left idling outside, Dale-Schmidt said.
When the car’s owner tried to stop him, Saucedo-Ugaldo allegedly threatened him with a gun.
Hours later, police used the Dunkin’ driver’s credit card records to locate Saucedo-Ugaldo in a room at the Rainbow Motel, 7050 West Archer. The newspaper delivery driver’s car was also there. And cops allegedly found property belonging to the stepdaughter and the Dunkin’ driver inside Saucedo-Ugaldo’s room.
All four victims identified Saucedo-Ugaldo in photo lineups, Dale-Schmidt said.
But his public defender said photo lineups can be “suggestive” and pointed out that police never found a gun. Saucedo-Ugaldo, the attorney said, has been working part-time at a junkyard and attends church with his parents “as often as he can.”
The lawyer also suggested that someone else may have committed all the crimes and left Saucedo-Ugaldo at the motel, holding the bag.
The Illinois Department of Corrections is reviewing Saucedo-Ugaldo’s parole status in light of the new allegations.
He is charged with Class X kidnapping, two counts of aggravated vehicular hijacking, armed robbery, and identity theft.