COOK COUNTY, IL – A 24-year-old man has been charged after a Sheriff’s Police investigation found he robbed a Ford Heights store, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today.
At approximately 8:40 a.m. on June 26, Sheriff’s Police responded to a retail store in the 800 block of East Lincoln Highway for a report of an armed robbery. Officers learned that a man wearing a balaclava, a type of head and face covering, approached an employee, pointed a gun at her, and demanded the safe to be opened.
The offender took the employee’s iPhone and cash from the register when he learned the safe could not be opened, and then fled the store.
Officers learned the offender fled to a family member’s residence in the 1300 block of Werline Avenue in Ford Heights. A Sheriff’s Police K-9 was deployed to track the offender and ended its trail at the same location.
The offender identified as Michael Merritt refused to come out of the residence. Sheriff’s Police Hostage Barricade Team (HBT) and detectives executed a search warrant at the residence where Merritt was located and taken into custody without incident. Officers also recovered an iPhone and a black Glock replica BB gun from the residence.
Detectives learned the phone belonged to the victim and the gun matched the description of the weapon used during the robbery.
On June 28, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office approved a charge of aggravated robbery, a Class 1 felony, against Merritt.
Merritt appeared for a bond hearing on Thursday at the Markham Courthouse where a judge ordered him held on a $100,000 D-bond.
The public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the government in a court of law.