Meetup to sell car in downtown Elmhurst leads to armed robbery: prosecutors


A motion was granted June 21 to deny pretrial release for a Morton Grove man accused of robbing a man at gunpoint and taking his vehicle in downtown Elmhurst, prosecutors said.

Isaiah Roach, 19, of the 5900 block of Warren Court, appeared in First Appearance Court charged with one count each of armed robbery, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and theft, according to a DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office news release.

About 10:30 p.m. June 19, Roach allegedly met the victim in Elmhurst after responding to an ad the victim had placed on Facebook Marketplace to sell his car for $14,000, according to the release.

After meeting the victim outside the lobby of the Elmhurst police station, the victim and Roach decided to conduct the transaction inside a nearby grocery store where there were security cameras, authorities said.

Once inside the grocery store, Roach allegedly reached into his waistband, displayed a black handgun and told the victim, “Give me the keys if you ever want to see your family again.” The victim threw his key fob at Roach and ran to the customer service desk and called 911.

Roach allegedly drove off in the victim’s car, which was parked in the police station parking lot, according to the release.

Evanston police officers located the victim’s car at a gas station in Evanston, where they allegedly observed Roach pumping gas, according to the release.

Roach allegedly fled on foot, but Evanston police were able to arrest him. Roach allegedly had the victim’s key fob in his pocket when he was arrested, according to the release.

Roach was on pretrial release for vehicular hijacking in Cook County, authorities said.

“It is alleged that while on pretrial release for a forcible felony, Mr. Roach thumbed his nose at the criminal justice system and committed another violent crime,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in the release. “In DuPage County, we have zero tolerance for the type of armed violence as alleged in this case and we will prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law.”

“Citizens participating in online exchanges should heed the warning signs of a dangerous deal,” Elmhurst Chief of Police Michael McLean said in the release. “Any buyer or seller who is unwilling to come into a police station for a valuable transaction and instead asks to meet elsewhere late at night should be met with suspicion. Don’t agree to a dangerous situation.”

Roach’s next court appearance is scheduled for July 15 for arraignment.