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Two men charged with armed robbery in Round Lake Beach, 11 other heists in Chicago area

Falandis Russell, 25, of Chicago, poses in a Facebook Story with a stack of $100 bills taken from a spree of armed robberies in the Chicago area. | Provided Photo.

Two men were indicted on federal charges for carrying out at least 12 armed robberies in the Chicago area, including one in Round Lake Beach, prosecutors said.

Falandis Russell, 25, of Chicago, and Terrance Williams, 24, of Chicago, were both indicted for conspiracy to commit robbery.

The two wore masks and brandished dangerous weapons in 12 heists from July 2020 to January 2021, according to an indictment in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

Russell and Williams stole jewelry valued at more than $305,000 as well as more than $22,000 in cash, the indictment said.

The FBI led the investigation in conjunction with police departments in Chicago, Calumet City, Summit, Burbank, Bolingbrook, Round Lake Beach, Hammond (Ind.), Streamwood and Arlington Heights.

“The charges in this significant case are the result of the strong partnership between federal, state, and local law enforcement in the Chicago area,” said U.S. Attorney John Lausch. “We will continue working together to hold violent offenders accountable.”

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The first robbery was on July 31 at the Cash America in the 1800 block of River Oaks Drive in Calumet City, which was carried out by Russell and other unidentified suspects.

Two robberies were carried out by both Russell and Williams in August. Those two included a Midwest Title and Loan in Burbank and Cash America in Chicago.

Two other robberies were carried out by Russell and other unidentified suspects in August, which included the EZ Pawn in Summit and a Cash America in Chicago.

Russell and Williams robbed the Helzberg Diamonds in Bolingbrook in September and then carried out a robbery on October 13 at the EZ Pawn in the 300 block of West Rollins Road in Round Lake Beach.

Eight days later following the Round Lake Beach robbery, the duo robbed an EZ Pawn in Chicago.

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The two robbed a Cash America location in Chicago on November 6 and then a separate Cash America in Hammond, Indiana on December 16.

The final two robberies occurred in January when Russell and other unidentified suspects robbed the EZ Pawn in Streamwood on January 19.

Three days later, Russell and Williams robbed an EZ Pawn in Arlington Heights.

FBI agents were able to link the two men to the armed robbery spree after recovering DNA from the Round Lake Beach robbery.

“The defendants are accused of a multistate, violent crime spree with 12 armed robberies in almost as many communities,” FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Emmerson Buie said.

“The public should feel safer when doing business at local establishments, and we hope they feel secure knowing that justice is being done,” Buie said.

Russell is currently in law enforcement custody and pleaded not guilty at his Tuesday arraignment hearing.

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Williams has been ordered released on bond and he appeared for an arraignment hearing on Wednesday in federal court.