Prosecutors: Elmhurst armed robbery suspect found wearing a wig to evade capture


A Chicago man accused of robbing another man at gunpoint outside an Elmhurst apartment complex was ordered detained July 7 while awaiting trial.

Bennie Gates, 19, of the 6100 block of South Loomis Street, is charged with one count of armed robbery with a firearm stemming from the holdup July 5 at the Elmhurst Terrace Apartments, authorities said.

Authorities said they later captured Gates after he donned a wig in an attempt to evade detection.

According to DuPage County prosecutors, Elmhurst police officers on patrol near Berkley Avenue and St. Charles Road were flagged down about 7:09 a.m. July 5 by a man who reported he had just been robbed by a man with a gun.

Investigators later determined that the victim had agreed to drive a person they later identified as Gates from the Chicago Greyhound bus station to Elmhurst in exchange for $40, prosecutors said.

When the man dropped the person off at the apartment complex, he got out of the vehicle, walked around to the driver’s side, pulled a handgun from his waistband and said, “You didn’t know I had a gun did you?” authorities allege.

The robber demanded his money back and then left the area, walking east on Fellows Court, authorities said.

Several hours later, a detective surveilling an apartment where police believed Gates was located spotted what appeared to be a woman with long hair under a beanie leave the residence and get in an Uber, authorities said.

The detective followed the Uber and made a traffic stop, during which he identified the passenger as Gates wearing a wig, according to prosecutors. The man ran from the detective, crossing six lanes of traffic, but later was captured hiding in a nearby detached garage by police using a helicopter, police dogs and drones, authorities said.

“Thanks to the vigilance and outstanding heads-up work of the Elmhurst Police Department, Mr. Gates’ attempt to disguise himself as a woman did not fool anyone,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in a news release July 7.

“This arrest is a testament to the diligence of our police officers who work tirelessly to protect the community,” Elmhurst Police Chief Michael McLean said.

Gates is scheduled to return to court for an arraignment July 29.