CHICAGO — A Chicago man has been handed a five-year sentence for robbing three people during a 19-minute crime spree in Rogers Park last year.
Arturo Alvarez, 25, pleaded guilty to robbery, aggravated robbery, and attempted aggravated robbery before Judge Lauren Edidin, according to court records. She handed him five years on each count, with the sentences to be served concurrently.
It all started when a convenience store employee asked three men to stop urinating in an alley as he took out some trash on the 6800 block of North Sheridan around 10:50 p.m. on May 11, 2022.
Alvarez responded by threatening to “f*** up” the clerk and ordering him to hand over his cash, prosecutors said last year. One of the other men wrapped their arms around the victim’s body and took $20 from his pants. The group then left the scene.
While the clerk called 911, the men went to the lakefront. There, they allegedly confronted a man and asked for his money. When the victim said he didn’t have any, one man grabbed the victim’s phone and threw it into the lake.
Prosecutors said Alvarez snatched the man’s backpack from his hand, and the men walked away. The victim tried to convince them to return the bag, but Alvarez allegedly threatened to shoot him if he continued to follow the group.
Next, the crew confronted a man and his girlfriend, who were walking near the 1100 block of West Pratt.
Alvarez demanded cash from them while one of the other men tried to grab the woman’s purse, officials said. Prosecutors said Alvarez threw a glass bottle at the man and punched him in the back of the head.
Meanwhile, the woman began screaming until a robber grabbed her and covered her mouth. One of Alvarez’s accomplices threw the boyfriend to the ground and slapped him in the face as Alvarez threatened to shoot him for trying to help his girlfriend, prosecutors alleged.
As luck would have it, cops handling the first robbery were still at the 7-Eleven, and they heard the woman screaming for help. They investigated and chased three men as they ran away from the couple.
Cops arrested Alvarez and recovered a backpack that he threw while running. Officials said it belonged to the man who was robbed on the lakefront and contained the victim’s ID and other personal items.
While Alvarez allegedly threatened to shoot some victims, no one saw a weapon, and police did not find a gun.
Alvarez is the only person who has been charged with the crimes.
His five-year sentence will be cut in half for good behavior. He also received 584 days of credit he earned before pleading, including day-for-day credit for the ten months he was on electronic monitoring. According to the Illinois Department of Corrections’ public portal, he will be paroled on November 2, 2024.