A 19-year-old Chicago man was charged Friday with robbing an 80-year-old Evanston woman in broad daylight downtown, according to police.
Nelson Thomas, of the 5400 block of South Aberdeen Avenue, was charged with robbery, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, and aggravated fleeing and eluding police, all felonies. He was also charged with one misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended license, police said.
Police say a man between the ages of 18 and 22 forcibly took an 80-year-old woman’s purse around 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, at Custer Avenue and Main Street, as she was walking back from the Charter One Bank downtown. The man ran away with two other people into the north alley of Main Street, and then drove off in a vehicle, police said.
Tactical officers saw Thomas driving a car that matched the description of the vehicle used in the robbery while on patrol on Wednesday night, according to police. When they ran the license plate of the vehicle, they learned it had been stolen in Chicago. Police took the driver into custody after he and two other occupants of the car attempted to flee police in the 2000 block of West Fargo Avenue, police said.
Police recovered a bank card that belonged to the woman who had been robbed when they took Thomas into custody, and on Friday, Jan. 18, she identified Thomas in a lineup at the Evanston Police Department.
He is set to appear in Cook County Circuit Court in Skokie at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 30. No charges have been filed against the two other people who were in the car with Thomas, according to police.