Police have arrested a man who was wanted for fleeing from police in Grayslake — spurring a manhunt — and then allegedly stealing a car and committing multiple armed robberies.
Eric J. Gatlin, 43, whose last known address was in Elgin, was being sought by police following multiple incidents in Lake County and Cook County, according to the Grayslake Police Department.
Court records show Gatlin was charged Monday with two counts of armed habitual criminal, possession of a stolen firearm and two counts of felon in possession of a weapon.
All of the charges are felonies and the armed habitual criminal charge is a Class X felony, which carries 6-30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
A judge signed a warrant for Gatlin and set bond at $1 million, records show.
The Elgin Police Department Wednesday evening sent a large police response between Congdon Avenue and Summit Street and Berner Drive and Hiawatha Drive in Elgin.
The department asked residents to avoid the area after officers observed a subject that they believed was Gatlin.
Gatlin fled in a vehicle when approached by officers and crashed the vehicle in the 1200 block of Coldspring Road in Elgin.
Officers were able to set up a perimeter and requested numerous resources to the scene, including canines, drones and air support.
Gatlin was located and taken into custody, police said.
Gatlin was previously considered armed and dangerous, Grayslake police said earlier this week.
The series of events began Sunday evening when Gatlin crashed a white Lexus RX 350 SUV.
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 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.
Gurnee police said a person of interest, identified as Gatlin, pulled into the drive-thru lane of the restaurant in the Ford van.
He displayed a handgun and took cash from an employee of the restaurant before fleeing the scene, police said. No one was injured.
Court records show Gatlin had been convicted of a felony in a domestic battery case earlier this year in Grayslake.
Armed robberies were reported in Lake Zurich and Hoffman Estates on Wednesday, in which Gatlin was believed to be a suspect in those as well.
In addition to the initial charges filed earlier this week, Gatlin has a warrant for a violation of an order of protection in Lake County.
It is likely that additional charges will be filed against Gatlin as police continue their investigation.