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2 held after botched robbery leads to high-speed chase

Tribune reporter

Two Chicago men were each ordered held in lieu of $500,000 bail Sunday for their alleged role in a botched cell phone store robbery last week that turned into a high-speed police chase.

Lavell L. Fort, 20, and Stephen Jakes, 26, both face charges of attempted armed robbery and aggravated kidnapping in connection to the incident Thursday at an AT&T store in the 9000 block of Joliet Road in Hodgkins, according to court documents.

Fort, of the 8800 block of South Michigan Avenue, is alleged to have been the getaway driver and faces an additional charge of aggravated fleeing and eluding, according to court documents.

Jakes, of the 900 block of West 51st Place, and another unidentified man entered the store just before 7 p.m. Thursday, according to court documents.

Jakes put a gun in the store manager's face and corralled five customers and two employees into the back, Assistant State's Attorney Leslie Billings said.

One customer fled out the back door, Billings said, and Jakes and the other man then fled on foot.

They jumped into an Oldsmobile Alero allegedly driven by Fort and sped off, Billings said.

Hickory Hills police soon gave chase after one of the witnesses called police with the car's license plate number, she said.

They made their way to southbound Interstate 55 and eventually crashed near Weber Road, Billings said.

Fort allegedly sped through two red lights during the chase, she said.

The chase reached speeds of 100 mph and lasted roughly 30 minutes, she said.

After the crash, Fort and Jakes ran off, but they were ultimately captured, Billings said.

Jakes is on parole and has five felony convictions, she said.

Both men were identified by witnesses in a lineup, said Billings, who would not comment on the fate of the third suspect.
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