Chicago — A Jeep stolen in Downer’s Grove with a gun in its center console surfaced in Chicago hours later, driven by a woman who used the SUV and the firearm to rob three men in Wicker Park and West Town, officials said.
Mercedes Jackson, 26, was arrested after she crashed the stolen Jeep near the 800 block of North Racine as police tracked one of the phones she took from a victim at gunpoint, Assistant State’s Attorney Sarah Dale-Schmidt said during Jackson’s bail hearing Friday afternoon.
The robberies began around 9:05 a.m. Thursday in the 1700 block of West Crystal. A 44-year-old man was unloading his vehicle when a black Jeep rolled slowly down the alley and struck his car’s side mirror.
Dale-Schmidt said a woman stepped out of the Jeep and asked the man for money. But the man countered that he wasn’t giving her anything because he didn’t hit her car, she struck his. The woman then pulled out a handgun and demanded the man’s cash.
He agreed to go into his house and get some cash. While inside, he told his wife that a woman in the garage was demanding money from him at gunpoint, Dale-Schmidt said. The man returned to the garage and gave the woman $40 as his wife called 911.
A 36-year-old restaurant manager was robbed next as he stood outside the business in the 1800 block of West Chicago Avenue around 9:56 a.m. Dale-Schmidt said a dark Jeep pulled down the alley, and a woman got out with a gun to demand all of his money. But he had no cash, and he opened his wallet to prove it. The robber took the wallet anyway and drove away.
Then, a little after 10 a.m., a 30-year-old man saw a black Jeep traveling slowly down the 700 block of North Willard as he left his home. Dale-Schmidt explained that a woman took two phones from the man, then escaped in the SUV.
Two of the victims described the robber as a short Black woman wearing a crop top, according to Dale-Schmidt. A couple also noticed a San Francisco 49ers sticker on the back of the Jeep, and one remembered part of the plate number.
But none of the victims could identify Jackson in photo line-ups, a point that Assistant Public Defender Mallory Hudson argued should defeat a state request to have Jackson held without bail.
Judge Kelly McCarthy agreed with Hudson’s contention that the state failed to demonstrate that the “proof is evident or the presumption great” that Jackson was the armed robber. As such, the judge said, she could not hold Jackson without bail.
Instead, Jackson must post a $15,000 bail deposit to be released on electronic monitoring, said McCarthy.
Jackson is charged with three counts of armed robbery with a firearm.