Robbery suspect shot, killed by police
January 18, 2006 (Chicago, Ill.) (WLS) -- Chicago police shot and killed a robbery suspect at a Northwest Side auto parts store Tuesday night. Two other suspects were taken into custody. The three men may be linked to a series of robberies at Auto Zone stores.
Ten area Auto Zone stores have been robbed since December. Chicago Police Spokesperson Pat Camden said the robbery suspects had become predictable and followed a pattern -- the robberies occurring on a Tuesday or Thursday at either 8:30 a.m. or 10 p.m. Therefore, undercover police officers were staking out Auto Zone stores, including the one at 5601 W. Diversey, Tuesday night when the robbery attempt occurred.
"They were outside waiting at closing time seeing what's happened. Somebody comes walking out the door wearing a mask and gun in his hand is a good assumption it's not good," said Camden.
Camden said the officers outside the store identified themselves as police. Two of the suspected robbers ran back inside the building. The third, 31-year-old Cleon Jones, pointed a gun at officers, Camden said. The police opened fire killing Jones, 31.
"We heard about 50 shots and I told one of my customers to come behind the glass with me in case one of the bullets were to fly our way," said Jayson Garcia, witness.
"Me and the gas station attendant fell on floor and ran inside the glass-surrounded area and looked out the window and there were police everywhere. We were pretty shaken up," said Luis Colon, witness.
Police gunfire killed Jones, who did not fire any shots. Officers chased the two other suspects back into the store, where they were arrested. No employees or customers were injured. Detectives are now working to see if these three can be positively connected to the other Autozone holdups.
"It's been usually three offenders. They wear dusk masks, come in announce the robbery, and leave," said Camden.
Levi Gilbert, 30, and Michael Woods, 29, face several charges, including murder. Prosecutors believe their actions led to the death of their alleged accomplice, Jones.
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