Two arrested after armed robbery victims spy getaway car's license plate

Tribune reporter

Two men charged in a string of armed robberies against six people, including a Cook County prosecutor and a sheriff’s employee, were caught after police say two of the victims saw the license plate on the getaway car.

Alexander Vesey, 35, and Marcus Washington, 34, were arrested Thursday after two men gave police a description of the getaway car of the group that robbed them, along with a license plate number.

Police are still looking for other suspects in three robberies identified by police as part of a pattern of crimes, Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Denise Loiterstein said.

Judge Jackie Portman set bail today at $400,000 for Vesey, who is charged with armed robbery, attempted robbery and aggravated battery, and at $300,000 for Washington, who faces charges of armed robbery with a firearm.

Vesey, of the 3100 block of West Washington Boulevard, was involved in four robberies, on Aug. 21, Sept. 4, Sept. 6 and Sept. 8, while Washington, of the 5300 block of West Van Buren Street, is charged only in the first incident, prosecutors said.

On Aug. 21, Vesey and an armed Washington, along with a third person, approached two men in a garage in the 2200 block of West Polk Avenue, taking an unspecified amount of money, before running away, Loiterstein said.

Two weeks later, on Sept. 4, a Cook County Sheriff’s employee was opening his garage in the 6200 block of North Leona Avenue when Vesey and another offender demanded at gunpoint that he hand over his wallet. The employee then yelled for police and then punched in the face before Vesey and the other offender ran away, Loiterstein said.

An Assistant State’s Attorney was parking her car Sept. 6 in the parking lot at home in the 2600 block of West Chicago Avenue when Vesey threatened her with a gun, punched her in the face – breaking her nose – and robbed her of her purse, Loiterstein said.

In the Sept. 8 armed robbery, Vesey, accompanied by another unknown person, held up two men in a parking garage in the 4600 block of West Schubert Avenue, taking their money and cell phones.

The victims were able to give police a description and license plate number for a green, four-door Kia that the offenders were driving, police said.

A little more than an hour later, police stopped Washington in the Kia in the 5300 block of West Gladys Avenue, said Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Robert Perez. Vesey was found and arrested in the 100 block of North Kedzie Avenue about 5 p.m. Thursday, Perez said.

Grand Central Area detectives, issued a community alert earlier this week warning of a series of robberies in open garages or alleys in the area, identified them as matching the description of robbers wanted in those incidents. Detectives placed Vesey and Washington in a lineup, where police said they were identified by victims and witnesses, and they were charged in connection with at least some of those incidents.

During Saturday’s court hearing, Assistant Public Defender Travis Milton was granted a request that Vesey be evaluated for mental health issues.

Both men are scheduled to appear in court next on Sept. 15.

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