DuPage County State’s Attorney
June 23, 2021
DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin, Downers Grove Chief of Police Shanon Gillette and Oakbrook Terrace Chief of Police Casey Calvello announced today that bond has been denied for a man currently on parole for an armed robbery out of Cook County accused of robbing several hundred dollars from two DuPage County businesses. Robert Howard, 27 (d.o.b. 7/16/1993) of the 1100 block of N. Oakley Court, Westmont, appeared at a bond hearing this afternoon where Judge Daniel Guerin denied bond. Howard has been charged with two counts of Armed Robbery with a Firearm (Class X Felony) and two counts of Unlawful Use or Possession of a Weapon by a Felon (Class 2 Felony).
At approximately 2:42 p.m., June 15, 2021, officers with the Downers Grove Police Department responded to the Speedway gas station located at 5004 Fairview Avenue, for an armed robbery that just occurred. Upon arrival, officers and detectives searched the area and were unable to locate anyone matching the description of the alleged offender provided by the store clerk. It is alleged that prior to the officers’ arrival, Howard entered the store, went to a cooler and took an item before walking to the counter where the register is located. It is alleged that Howard then raised his shirt and revealed he had a gun in his waistband. It is further alleged that Howard then went behind the counter and ordered the store clerk to open the register, which she did, and took the cash from the register. It is alleged that Howard then took the gun out of his waistband and pointed it at the clerk and said, “Open the register, I’m gonna shoot you if you don’t give me the money”. It is alleged that when the clerk was unable to open the second register, Howard took two packs of Newport 100 cigarettes and fled on foot. Through the course of their investigation, authorities identified Howard as a suspect in the case and on June 21, 2021, executed a search warrant at the defendant’s home. When Howard arrived at the home for a meeting with his parole officer that same day, he observed officers at the home and began to run. As he ran, Howard tripped and fell at which time he was taken into custody. It is alleged that when Howard was taken into custody, he had a loaded semiautomatic handgun in his waistband that matched the description of the gun used in the robbery at the Speedway gas station. Through their investigation, authorities learned information that led to charges against Howard for allegedly robbing a 7-11 convenience store in Oakbrook Terrace that same day. It is alleged that at approximately 3:38 p.m., Howard entered the 7-11 convenience store, located on 14th Street, where he requested a job application and filled it out while waiting for the store to clear. It is alleged Howard eventually approached the store clerk, brandished a handgun and took approximately $400 from the cash register before fleeing.
“On parole for less than seven months, Mr. Howard has no business being in possession of a loaded weapon, let alone using it to commit two armed robberies, as alleged in this case,” Berlin said. “The criminal behavior allegedly displayed by Mr. Howard demonstrates his complete disregard for the rule of law and will be met with the fullest force of the law. In DuPage County, we will use every resource available to protect our residents and hold violent offenders, as alleged in this case, accountable. I commend the Downers Grove and Oakbrook Terrace Police Department for their efforts in this case which led to the apprehension of a man suspected in two armed robberies. I would also like to thank Assistant State’s Attorney Kristin Sullivan for her efforts in preparing a strong case against Mr. Howard.”
“I would like to thank the Downers Grove Police Department investigators for their exceptional work in bringing this case to a safe and successful resolution,” Gillette said. “I would also like to thank DuPage MERIT SWAT and the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office for their assistance with this case.”
“Armed violence is unusual in the City of Oakbrook Terrace and has no place in our society,” Calvello said. “We will spare no effort to investigate, identify and apprehend the individuals who commit these serious offenses. I would like to thank the many law enforcement officials from the Oakbrook Terrace Police Department, Downers Grove Police Department, DuPage County M.E.R.I.T. SWAT Team and DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office for their hard work in bringing this case to a swift resolution.”
Howard’s next court appearance is scheduled for July 19, 2021, in front of Judge Guerin for arraignment. Based on the defendant’s criminal history, he is extended term eligible, resulting in a sentencing range of between twenty-one and seventy-five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendant’s guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.