A man from Hazel Crest and another from Park Forest are charged in connection with a cell phone store robbery in Norridge, Ill., and are suspected to have a connection with a cell phone store robbery in LaPorte in February, the FBI said.
Eric Rogers, also known as "E," "Big E," and "the G," 39, of Hazel Crest, and Eric Curtis, also known as "Little E," and "Lil E," 29, of Park Forest, are each charged with one count of Hobbs Act robbery for their roles in the Norridge robbery, the FBI said in a news release. They are charged federally because the crimes affected interstate commerce, an FBI spokeswoman said.
The men are charged with directing others to steal about 100 phones and tablet computers valued at $54,000 in the March 19 robbery of an AT&T store in Norridge. They are also suspected of recruiting and directing other individuals to carry out robberies in the Chicago area as well as providing handguns to them, the release states.
The pair were arrested Saturday night by Woodridge police and are to appear in court at 11 a.m Wednesday. The arrests took place following a robbery of a Woodridge T-Mobile store by two other individuals who are still being sought.
According to the FBI, Eric Rogers, Eric Curtis and Ryan Rogers, a cousin to Eric Rogers, were organizers of a crew responsible for numerous robberies of cell phone stores in the Chicago area since January. The robberies occurred mostly in the Chicago area, including one in February in LaPorte.
The FBI said Chicago police went to Ryan Rogers' Hazel Crest residence following the Norridge robbery because they suspected he and Eric Rogers were involved. Once there, Ryan Rogers allegedly drove toward an officer attempting to stop the vehicle he was driving and Ryan Rogers was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer.
If convicted, Eric Rogers and Eric Curtis each face a maximum of 20 years in federal prison and a maximum of $250,000 fine.