Federal authorities charge 2 with armed robberies of Chicago convenience stores

Chicago —  A federal grand jury in Chicago has returned criminal charges against a man and woman who allegedly robbed five convenience stores last year, officials said Monday.

Kishawn Brownlee, 26, and Equesha Butler, 29, are charged with a total of five counts of robbery affecting interstate commerce, according to the US Attorney’s office in Chicago.

The 7-Eleven at 4771 North Elston is one of five convenience stores that were robbed. | Google

The robberies of 7-Eleven stores began early on April 14, at the 3800 North Kedzie location, according to Chicago police records. CPD released a community alert about the robbery pattern after three more 7-Eleven locations were robbed between 1 a.m. and 1:40 a.m. on July 29 at 2366 North Damen, 4771 North Elston, and 4346 North Kimball.

CPD’s alert said the robbers took money, tobacco products, and the store clerks’ wallets and phones during the holdups. At the time, Chicago police said two men and a woman armed with handguns with extended magazines were involved in the robberies.

Federal officials said a fifth 7-Eleven at 661 South Blvd. in Oak Park is also part of the crime pattern.

The grand jury returned charges against Butler in all five robberies. Brownlee is charged in the Oak Park and Kedzie cases, according to the federal indictment, which was unsealed Monday. Each count is punishable by a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

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Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. He can be reached at tim@cwbchicago.com