(WGN-AM)- A two-month crime spree ended Thursday when five suspects were charged with 20 armed robberies throughout northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, authorities said.
The robberies took place between April 25 and Thursday, Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran said at a news conference this morning along with members of about 20 federal and local police agencies that assisted in the investigation.
In each robbery, at least one of the suspects would enter a business wearing a hooded sweatshirt with a bandana tied around his face and showing a replica gun that look real, while at least one other suspect waited in a getaway car parked away from the scene, Curran said.
"They came in with their guns pointed to the victim's face," Curran said.
Those charged with armed robbery were: Sean M. Kettledon, 35, of the 6300 block of 245th Avenue in Paddock Lake, Wis.; Terrance Corte Walker Jr., 22, of the 1200 block of Feetwood Drive in Elgin; Randy E. O'Brien, 20, of the 1600 block of Collins Street in Iron River, Mich., Michael R. Boyle, 42, of the 500 block of Valley Road in Twin Lakes, Wis.; and a 16-year-old from Silver Lake, Wis.
The suspects appeared in Lake County bond court this morning and could face more charges in Lake County and additional charges in Kenosha County, Wis., and McHenry County.
On Thursday about 2 a.m. in Spring Grove, police from several area agencies stopped a black BMW driven by Boyle, the alleged ringleader, Curran said. O'Brien and two juveniles were also in the car, he said. One of the juveniles was not charged, Curran said.
It is unclear how the suspects knew each other, but some if not all of them had been staying at Boyle's house in Twin Lakes, Wis., Curran said.
"He's about 20 years older than the others so I think it's a reasonable inference that he's running the show," Curran said.
The robberies occurred in Antioch, Lake Villa, Fox Lake, Richmond, Kenosha, Wis., Pleasant Prairie, Wis., Burlington, Wis., Walworth, Wis., Delavan, Wis., Williams Bay, Wis., Lake Geneva, Wis., Elkhorn, Wis., and elsewhere.
"This a huge relief," Antioch Police Chief Jim Foerster said. "Our citizens have been scared, and our business owners have been scared."
(The Chicago Tribune contributed to this story)
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