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Article updated: 2/9/2013 10:45 AM

Elgin cops make quick work of downtown robbery

By Elena Ferrarin

A 23-year-old Chicago man was arrested less than five minutes after he brandished a BB gun to rob a store in Elgin, police said.

James J. Brewer, of the 9000 block of S. Forest Ave. in Chicago, was arrested just after 8 p.m. Thursday after Elgin police got a call about an armed robbery at Paul's Bus Stop on the 100 block of W. Chicago Street, Elgin Police Cmdr. Glenn Theriault said.

Store owner Paul Berman said he was walking out of the store alone after turning off the lights at closing time when Brewer walked up to him, pointing what looked like a gun.

"He's got a gun out and it's pointed and it's dark. When you see a gun pointed at you, you don't start asking questions," said Berman, who was not injured.

Berman said the robber took some cellphones and demanded cash from the register, then saw Berman's gun under the counter and took it, he said.

After the robber left, Berman called 911 at 7:58 p.m. and reported that his attacker had taken off on foot and was walking eastbound on the Chicago Street bridge.

Several officers located Brewer in the area of 80 S. Grove Avenue about five minutes later, Theriault said. Brewer was taken into custody after a brief struggle; both weapons, the cash, and stolen merchandise were recovered, he said.

Brewer was charged with felony counts of armed robbery, aggravated robbery, possession of firearm and theft.

He appeared in Kane County bond court Friday morning where he was remanded to the Kane County jail in lieu of $250,000 bond. He is next due in Kane County court at 9 a.m. Feb. 14.

This was the first robbery at Paul's Bus Stop, said Berman, who's owned the store for almost 26 years.

Elgin police, he said, "did an unbelievably fantastic job. I just couldn't be more proud of our police department."

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