Man who fired gun, fled to Wisconsin border after robbing CVS was tracked by GPS device in stolen cash: prosecutors

Norbert Thigpen is charged with firing a pistol while robbing the CVS at 8639 South Cicero. | Chicago Police Department; Google

CHICAGO — The man who fired a pistol while robbing a CVS pharmacy over the weekend got away with a nice pile of cash and, unbeknownst to him, a hidden GPS device that helped cops track him down, officials say.

Illinois State Troopers chased Norbert Thigpen from Chicago all the way to the Wisconsin border, where he had to turn back because law enforcement set up roadblocks at the state line.

Wearing a hoodie and a facemask, Thigpen walked into the CVS at 8639 South Cicero around 5:23 p.m. Saturday and ordered the cashier and a manager to hand over the store’s cash while displaying a handgun, prosecutors said.

He started counting as the cashier struggled to get the register open. Finally, the clerk pulled out all the cash and put it on the counter.

Thigpen fired his pistol as he collected the money, prosecutors alleged. A bullet ricocheted off the counter and lodged in the ceiling.

Police started tracking the GPS device, and troopers tried to pull Thigpen over near I-294 and Touhy around 6:10 p.m. Officials said he pulled over at one point but then drove away again.

With a Chicago police helicopter overhead, state troopers behind him, and local cops blocking exit ramps, Thigpen soon found himself at the Wisconsin border, prosecutors said.

After turning back toward Illinois, police saw him throw cash, including the GPS tracker, out of his car window. Troopers used spike strips and a PIT maneuver to bring his car to a stop near Gurnee, according to prosecutors.

Thigpen had more than $600 on him when cops took him into custody. Police said they found a loaded 9-millimeter handgun on his driver’s floorboard. The gun’s ammunition matched a shell casing found at the CVS, prosecutors said. Gloves, a jacket, and a mask matching those worn by the CVS robber were allegedly found in his vehicle.

Prosecutors charged him with two counts of discharging a firearm during an armed robbery and aggravated fleeing from police.

Judge Maryam Ahmad ordered him detained to await trial.

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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. His email address is tim@cwbchicago.com