Brandon Sledge, Markis Randle and Robert E. Thomas (left to right)

Three suspects have been arrested after police said they were connected to three armed robberies in Waukegan.

The Waukegan Police Department said that its Strike Force Unit (SFU) was activated following recent armed robberies. The SFU, which is made up of officers from different divisions of the police department, report directly to the police chief for a specific task.

Undercover SFU officers were conducting surveillance on businesses in Waukegan on December 11 when they spotted a sedan involved in previous armed robberies.

The sedan passed the Dollar General at 2205 North Lewis Avenue several times and then parked. Police witnessed two men exit the car with their faces and hands concealed. A third man stayed in the car.

Both suspects ran from the Dollar General back to the sedan as police converged in during the robbery. The three suspects tried to get away in the car which ended up striking a police car. The car was inoperable and two of the suspects fled on foot while the driver was immediately taken into custody. Police officers chased the other two suspects on foot and arrested them.

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A BB gun and proceeds from the robbery were found in the sedan. A loaded revolver was found after the foot pursuit.

Markis Randle, 39, of Beach Park, and Brandon Sledge, 37, of Waukegan, were identified by police as the suspects who ran on foot. Both are being held on $350,000 bonds in the Lake County Jail. Randle is scheduled to appear in court again on January 18. Sledge is scheduled to appear in court again on January 30.

The driver of the sedan, Robert E. Thomas, 46, of Waukegan, is currently in the custody of the Waukegan Police Department on an arrest warrant which was obtained on Tuesday. Thomas was scheduled to appear in bond court on Wednesday.

Police said the three men allegedly participated in armed robberies at the Waukegan Gyro in the 1100 block of Golf Road on December 19, Mobile Gas Station in the 1900 block of Washington Street on December 26 and the Dollar General in the 2200 block of North Lewis Avenue on January 11.

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All three suspects were charged with three counts of armed robbery each. Randle and Sledge were also charged with resisting a peace officer.