Four people were ordered held in lieu of bail on felony armed robbery charges after Niles police say they followed a woman home from work on May 15 and robbed her outside her garage.
A 34-year-old Niles woman told police that she had returned home from work a little before 2:30 a.m. that day and was leaving her garage in the 9000 block of North Churchill Circle when she was approached by two partially masked individuals armed with handguns, police said in a release.
The two demanded her purse and a tote bag and then fled in a light-colored SUV, police said.
The woman was not injured and told police that she saw the SUV multiple times while driving home from work and believed the car had followed her home.
Niles police broadcast the vehicle description to various law enforcement agencies and a Cook County sheriff's police officer stopped a vehicle matching that description about 15 minutes later near North Central Avenue and North Northwest Highway in the city's Jefferson Park neighborhood.
Two of the vehicle occupants – one armed with a handgun – climbed out of the windows of the SUV and fled, police said, while three other occupants were taken into custody with the help of Niles and Chicago police.
Authorities recovered the Niles woman's credit cards and other forms of identification inside the SUV, as well as two loaded handguns, police said. Using serial numbers, detectives traced the two guns to a home burglary reported in Brookfield, police said.
Detectives were also able to track the two suspects who initially fled from the SUV to an apartment in the 1300 block of North Lorel Avenue in the city's North Austin neighborhood, police said.
Police from Niles and Chicago set up surveillance outside the apartment later in the day and took the two into custody after they tried to flee in a waiting vehicle, authorities said.
Felony armed robbery charges were approved for four of the five suspects, identified by police as: Mercedes Alvarez, 22, of the 1300 block of North Lorel Avenue in Chicago; Peter Bloodgood, 22, of the 1900 block of South Highland Avenue in Berwyn; Julian Cortez, 21, of the 3800 block of South Highland Avenue in Berwyn, and Angelo Rodriguez, 20, of the 1600 block of South Harvey Avenue in Berwyn.
A Cook County judge ordered the three men held on $400,000 bail, while the woman is being held on $75,000 bail.
All have "extensive criminal backgrounds," police said.
Tribune reporter Mitch Smith contributed.