File Photo – Gurnee Mills | Photo: Google Street View

A law enforcement task force arrested three masked suspects who were armed with guns inside Gurnee Mills mall in Gurnee, authorities said.

The Illinois Attorney General’s Organized Retail Crimes Task Force recently conducted operations targeting retail crimes at suburban Chicago shopping malls.

The task force collaborated with the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, local law enforcement agencies and retail partners during an operation at the Gurnee Mills mall in Gurnee.

The attorney general’s office and law enforcement apprehended three masked and armed suspects inside the mall on October 8.

The three suspects were juveniles and a fourth suspect, identified as Jamaree Randle, 19, of Zion, was also charged.

The attorney general’s office said the four suspects were armed but a spokesperson for the state’s attorney’s office said Randle was not armed.

The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the cases against the four suspects.

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Randle was charged with obstructing justice, criminal trespass to vehicles, unlawful possession of an identification card and resisting a peace officer.

Randle is not in custody and a warrant has been issued for him. The charges against the three juveniles were not known.

Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said law enforcement’s “quick thinking and keen observations” led to the arrest of these “dangerous individuals.”

“The offenders have been detained on various weapon charges, and we will work to make sure the community is protected from them in the future,” Rinehart said.

Gurnee Police Chief Brian Smith lauded the partnerships built with the attorney general’s office and retail stores in Gurnee.

“Safety in and around our shopping centers has always been a top priority, and together we were able to enhance those safety measures and take several people into custody,” Smith said.

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The Gurnee Mills busts also led to the recovery of two stolen vehicles with the assistance of the Illinois Secretary of State’s office.

“I am proud of the Secretary of State Police and the Illinois Statewide Auto Theft Task Force for their excellent work in this case,” said Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.

“This is an outstanding example of law enforcement jurisdictions working together to produce positive results in an effort to target and combat retail theft,” White said.

In addition to the Gurnee Mills operation, the Illinois Attorney General’s Organized Retail Crimes Task Force and other agencies conducted sting operations earlier this month at the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg and Oakbrook Center mall in Oakbrook.

Those led to the arrest of six suspects and officers recovered stolen merchandise.

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“My office is aggressively targeting retail crime and through our Retail Crimes Task Force, is working in tandem with other law enforcement agencies to enhance the public’s safety. I would like to commend our investigators and thank all of the participating law enforcement agencies and retailers for their partnership in these operations,” Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul said.

“These arrests demonstrate the importance of collaborations between state and local law enforcement to better protect communities and hold individuals accountable,” Raoul said.