Armed man who robbed 2 Rogers Park businesses worked for the local business alliance: Chicago police report

CHICAGO — A four-time convicted felon who worked on a Rogers Park business group’s street clean-up crew has been charged with robbing two Rogers Park businesses at gunpoint, according to a Chicago police report.

Joshua Brown, 30, was detained as a public safety threat by Judge Susana Ortiz. State records show he is on parole for armed robbery.

His arrest report said that CPD detectives collected Ventra card records and video from the CTA, private businesses, and its own surveillance cameras to build the case against Brown.

According to court records, the first robbery occurred just after 10 a.m. on January 10 at Morse Convenient, 1442 West Morse Avenue. An armed man displayed a gun, demanded cash, and ordered the 22-year-old clerk to open the back door. But a customer entered the store, and the robber exited the front and headed to the Morse Red Line, the police report said.

Cops pulled video that showed the robber swipe a Ventra card at the station and board a southbound train to 79th Street, according to the report. They learned that the same Ventra card was used frequently at Morse, including on January 31, the date of the second robbery.

Joshua Brown (Chicago Police Department)

In that case, an armed man with a yellow safety vest draped around his neck robbed Lian’s Liquor and Grocery, 6507 North Clark, shortly after 2 p.m. The store’s 56-year-old cashier suffered a broken finger and facial injuries during a struggle with the offender, CPD’s report said.

CPD’s report said officers found a video of the robber pushing a trash can belonging to a local business group down the street. They contacted the group and learned that the man was an employee, the report said.

Cops arrested the man, identified as Brown, in the 1200 block of West Morse when he reported for work last week. When officers arrested Brown, he was carrying a loaded firearm that was stolen from an apartment in the 4900 block of West Addison last year, officials said.

He also had the Ventra card that the robber used, as well as a yellow safety vest and a black face mask, according to the police report.

He is charged with two counts of armed robbery with a firearm and Class X armed habitual criminal. State officials are reviewing his parole status in light of the new allegations.

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About Tim Hecke 289 Articles
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