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Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Men Try To Rob Store, But Nobody's There

Jan 20, 2010 9:21 am US/Central

Men Try To Rob Store, But Nobody's There

Robbers Stick Up Store In Joliet That Has No Customers Or Employees

JOLIET, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) 



If you arm yourself, put on a ski mask and walk up to the counter demanding money but nobody is around to hear it, is it still a robbery?

Police say it's an attempt. Two men and one juvenile face charges after reportedly trying to pull a stickup that lacked victims.

Deputy Chief Mike Trafton said Sanjuan F. Reyes, 22, Jose M. Torres, 17, and a 16-year-old Joliet boy met around 7:30 p.m. Monday in an alley near Supermercado Viva Mexico, at 600 E. Jackson St. in Joliet.

"They'd decided to rob the grocery store and put on ski masks and bandanas. The 16-year-old went inside with an air pistol while the other two acted as lookouts," Trafton said.

The two men reportedly told detectives they saw the teen walk up to the register, look around and come back outside.

"He said, 'What the (expletive)? No one's in the store,'" Trafton said.

Reyes and Torres allegedly told police they laughed when informed of the lack of visible customers and employees, but decided to remain in the area.

But a neighbor already had called police about the masked men carrying weapons outside.

As customers went inside, the trio allegedly went back inside the store. That's when police arrived.

Reyes remained inside, but Torres and the juvenile ran in different directions, police said. Both were caught after short footchases and a weapon was found on the juvenile, Trafton said.

"An officer began to interview Reyes as a witness, but his nervous behavior started to reveal (him as a) suspect," Trafton said. Police reportedly found Reyes was carrying a bandana with eyeholes cut in it.

After he was questioned at the police station, a detective allegedly found a second BB gun hidden behind some juice boxes in a cooler in the store.

"All three of the suspects admitted to trying to rob the store," Trafton said.

The juvenile was booked into the River Valley Juvenile Detention Center. Reyes and Torres were charged with attempted robbery. Reyes was also charged with obstructing justice and for failing to appear on three outstanding warrants.

In August, Reyes was reportedly clocked driving 20 miles over the speed limit on Route 53 in Elwood. When he pulled over, police learned the unlicensed driver's vehicle, a 2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor, had been reported stolen from Joliet that day.

Torres was also charged with resisting a police officer. Before being booked into the county jail, a Joliet officer reportedly saw him scratching paint off the cell doors of the police station's holding area.

Torres reportedly said he was attempting to remove graffiti already scratched into the door that was "dissing his gang."

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