Aurora police: Suspect in Dollar General robbery caught through stolen phone
A 26-year-old Aurora man was arrested Tuesday and charged with the armed robbery of a Dollar General Store on the city's east side after officers tracked him through a stolen cellphone, authorities said.
Lamar H. Russell, of the 2300 block of Sunshine Court, faces one felony count of armed robbery, which has a punishment of six to 30 years in prison with no chance of probation. He was free on bond on a drug case and on probation for a felony driving offense when he was arrested, according to Kane County court records.
According to police, officers responded at 12:40 p.m. Tuesday to the store, 1033 E. Galena Blvd., for a report of an armed robbery. Investigators learned a man wearing a face mask and armed with a handgun forced his way into the store office and demanded an employee bring him to and open the store's safe.
The man took the employee to other parts of the store in search of the safe before taking the employee's cellphone and running away from the area, police said. Investigators watched surveillance video to get a description of the man, later identified as Russell, and began tracking the victim's stolen phone location.
Police found Russell on a walking path near Haffenrichter Road and Pinecreek Drive, and he had the phone and a replica handgun with him when he was arrested, police said.
The employee was not injured. Nearby Rollins Elementary School was put on lockdown while police searched for Russell, authorities said.
Russell was held at the Kane County jail Wednesday and was next due in court May 29. His bail amount was not immediately available.
According to Kane County court records, Russell was free on bond on a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance stemming from an April 27 arrest in Aurora.
Russell also was on probation until February 2021 after pleading guilty to a felony charge of driving while license suspended from a February 2018 arrest, records show.
In 2014, Russell was arrested and charged with possession of a stolen 1994 Chevrolet Corisca. He spent 17 days in jail before pleading guilty and being sentenced to 18 months probation on a reduced felony charge of attempted possession of a stolen vehicle.