Grayslake police have publicly identified a 43-year-old man wanted in a crime spree, including an armed robbery at Portillo’s in Gurnee, as a manhunt continues for him Monday evening.
Eric J. Gatlin, 43, whose last known address was in Elgin, is being sought by police following multiple incidents in Lake County and Cook County, according to the Grayslake Police Department.
Gatlin is described as a male black, 5-foot-11, 230 pounds, bald with brown eyes.
He was last seen wearing blue jeans and a blue Chicago Bears sweatshirt in the Grayslake and Round Lake Beach area around 12 p.m. Monday.
Gatlin is considered armed and dangerous, Grayslake police said.
Gatlin was reportedly driving a white Lexus RX 350 SUV, which was possibly stolen, Sunday evening.
The SUV crashed into a tree in the 1400 block of Churchhill Lane in Grayslake and Gatlin fled.
The Grayslake-Hainesville Police Department began searching for him. Officers were seen using a drone to search the area of the Renwood Golf Course.
Village officials sent a text message and email to area residents warning them to stay inside and lock their doors.
The message asked residents to report suspicious activity by calling 911. A phone call was also made to residents saying that the man was “armed and dangerous.”
Officers searched the area extensively for several hours into the night but were unable to locate the suspect.
Grayslake Community Consolidated School District 46 said Monday morning that classes would continue as scheduled despite the ongoing search.
A soft lockdown was put into place around 10 a.m. Monday at Meadowview School and Avon Center School.
Grayslake District 127 schools and the Lake County Tech Campus were also on soft lockdown, officials said.
The lockdowns occurred after police reported that someone spotted Gatlin in the area.
Authorities said around 1 p.m. Monday that the police activity in the area of the English Meadows neighborhood had ended.
The school lockdowns had also been lifted at that time. Police said Gatlin was determined to have left the area.
Police said Gatlin was last seen driving a white Ford Transit van that was stolen from the Goodwill, 2051 North Route 83 in Round Lake Beach, around 12:30 p.m. Monday.
Shortly after the Ford van was stolen, an armed robbery was reported at the Portillo’s restaurant in Gurnee around 12:30 p.m. Monday.
Cash was stolen from the restaurant and the suspect displayed a handgun during the robbery.
It was believed to have been committed by Gatlin, according to information sent to law enforcement.
Information obtained by Lake and McHenry County Scanner showed that charges are pending against Gatlin.
He had been convicted of a felony in a domestic battery case earlier this year in Grayslake.
The Grayslake Police Department said Gatlin may still be driving the Ford van or possibly a gold sedan. He was last spotted in the Gurnee area as late as 1:30 p.m. Monday.
“As always, the Grayslake Police Department would like to remind its citizens to lock their doors and windows and report any suspicious activity,” the department said in a statement.
Police also warned citizens to not confront the suspect and instead call 911 immediately if they see him.
Anyone with information relevant to the case should call 847-223-2341.