Three Aurora residents were charged with robberies that occurred within a two-hour span Monday in grocery store parking lots on the city's east side, authorities said Tuesday.
Charged in connection with the incidents are Madelyn Neace, 19, and Pedro Perez, 20, both of the 500 block of South Calhoun Street, and Jesus Romero, 23, of the 1200 block of Summit Avenue.
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The first robbery came around 5 p.m. on the 800 block of North Farnsworth Avenue when Neace snatched a cellphone from the back pocket of a 31-year-old woman walking through a parking lot, police said in a news release. The victim chased Neace, authorities said, and the two struggled briefly before Neace broke free and jumped into a black SUV occupied by two men.
The three then drove to a grocery store on the 600 block of Ashland Avenue, authorities said, where Romero grabbed a 30-year-old woman's purse out of her shopping cart while she was unloading groceries. The two struggled briefly before Romero broke away and fled with his two accomplices in the same SUV, police said.
Police said the three then drove to a grocery store on the first block of North Root Street where Romero grabbed a 31-year-old woman's purse and, again after a brief struggle, escaped in the SUV.
Police said they were able to electronically trace the cellphone taken in the first robbery to the area near Lake Street and Indian Trail Road on the city's west side. When they arrived they spotted a black Cadillac Escalade at a gasoline station on the 1000 block of North Lake Street that matched the description of the suspects' SUV.
Officers took Perez and Romero into custody without incident and captured Neace after a brief chase. Police said they recovered the stolen cellphone and other items taken in the three robberies.
All three suspects were being held Tuesday and have Dec. 4 court dates in Kane County court.