Federal Jury Convicts Leader of Armed Robbery Crew in Nine Heists of Chicago Retail Stores and Businesses
CHICAGO — A federal jury has convicted a Chicago man of leading an armed robbery crew that targeted retail stores and businesses on the city’s North and Northwest Sides.
ROBERT L. BERRIOS, 50, committed the nine armed robberies in 2012. His crew mainly struck at cellular telephone stores, often terrorizing store employees by wearing masks and brandishing firearms. In some of the heists, the robbers physically restrained store employees with zip ties. The heists netted the crew tens of thousands of dollars in cash and cell phones.
After an eight-day trial in federal court in Chicago, the jury on Thursday convicted Berrios on all twelve robbery, firearm and conspiracy charges against him. U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly set sentencing for March 22, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. Berrios faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 22 years in prison, and a maximum sentence of life in prison.
The conviction was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Jeffrey S. Sallet, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Chicago Police Department provided valuable assistance. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Angel M. Krull and Georgia Alexakis.
All four charged members of the robbery crew have now been convicted. The other charged members, JULIO RODRIGUEZ, 36, DAVID REVIS, 37, and LUIS DIAZ, 33, all of Chicago, previously pleaded guilty and admitted their roles in the heists. Revis was sentenced to 15 years in prison and Diaz was sentenced to three years. Rodriguez is awaiting sentencing.
Evidence at Berrios’ trial revealed that the crew worked together to identify businesses to target and obtain intelligence about the locations, including store hours and number of employees working at a given time. The crew communicated with one another via cell phone to plan the robberies and procure the necessary tools, including the masks, zip ties, firearms and getaway vehicles.
The jury convicted Berrios of leading the crew in nine robberies:
July 1, 2012: Walgreens store, 5935 W. Addison St., Chicago.
July 28, 2012: Currency Exchange, 2753 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago.
Aug. 15, 2012: Currency Exchange, 2814 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago.
Sept. 19, 2012: T-Mobile store, 1552 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago.
Sept. 28, 2012: T-Mobile store, 1958 W. Irving Park Rd., Chicago.
Oct. 2, 2012: T-Mobile store, 4000 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago.
Oct. 13, 2012: T-Mobile store, 3951 N. Kimball Ave., Chicago.
Oct. 16, 2012: Cricket store, 3200 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago.
Oct. 22, 2012: AT&T store, 3955 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago.