PALOS HEIGHTS, IL — A Chicago man with an extensive criminal background was picked up for a string of armed gas station robberies in Palos Heights, Palos Hills and Hickory Hills, prosecutors said. Sedgwick Reavers, 29, appeared Thursday before Cook County Judge Donald Havis on three counts of armed robbery. His accomplice is still at large, according to police.
During the early morning hours of Dec. 28, after Palos Heights police had just cleared a fatal car accident, two men wearing dark clothing and face masks entered the Shell gas station at 121st Street and Ridgeland Avenue just after 2 a.m. A man, later identified as Reavers, described as wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with “Nike” across the front, pulled out a handgun and ordered the employee to lie face down on the floor, the prosecutor said.
The second man went behind the counter and took 45 cartons of Newport cigarettes, scratch off lottery tickets and $200 cash from the register before both men left the store, the prosecutor said. Palos Heights police obtained surveillance video from the gas station as well as another business next door, where police said Reavers and the other man got into a 2018 Nissan Altima and took off.
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A few days later, on Dec. 30, just after 2:30 a.m., Palos Hills police answered a call for a robbery at Thornton’s gas station, near 80th Avenue and 111th Street. The employee told officers that two men entered the store wearing black face masks. The prosecutor said that Reavers displayed a black handgun, ordered the employee to lie face down on the floor. Store security video showed the second man going behind the counter and grabbing 10 cartons of Newports, $2,200 worth of scratch-off lotto tickets and $233 from the register, according to the complaint.
Just before 2:30 a.m. Jan. 11, the pair allegedly showed up again at the Speedway gas station, 8000 W. 95th St., Hickory Hills. The prosecutor said Reavers displayed a gun and ordered the employee to lie face down on the floor. Surveillance video again showed the second man taking several cartons of Newports, lottery tickets and cash from the register.
Palos Heights police sent out a bulletin to other nearby police departments, where they learned the same 2018 Nissan Altima with the missing hubcaps was being investigated in the Palos Hills and Hickory Hills robberies, the prosecutor said. Due to the similarities of the armed robberies, the three police departments collaborated in the investigation.
Detectives were able to get the plate number from the Nissan and went to the address where the vehicle was apparently registered to the mother of Reavers’ children. Police searched the unoccupied vehicle, where they found a paycheck stub, driver’s license and pawn shop receipt belonging to Reavers, the prosecutor said.
Hickory Hills police visited the pawn shop, where the prosecutor said police obtained surveillance video showing an unmasked Reavers driving into the parking lot and entering the pawn shop. The prosecutor said Hickory Hills police left with a copy of Reavers’ driver’s license and a signed receipt for a gaming console.
During the investigation, the prosecutor said Palos Hills police also learned that two hours after their robbery, Reavers went into a BP gas station cashed out the stolen lottery tickets. Reavers was said to be wearing a distinctive, red and blue Nike jacket later recovered in his home.
On Tuesday, Palos Heights police executed a search warrant at two Chicago addresses where Reavers was known to live. Prosecutors said they found jackets, caps and shoes seen on surveillance video from the three robberies.
Reavers was pulled over driving a dark colored SUV by Chicago police in the 7400 block of Green Street, the prosecutor said. Reavers was said to be carrying 15 rounds of .22 caliber bullets in his pocket. The prosecutor said police also found over a dozen cartons of Newports, as well as several items of clothing Reavers and the second man were seen wearing in the surveillance video from the robberies, inside the SUV.
The prosecutor said that Reavers was the gunman in all three robberies. He has five felony convictions, including a 2016 robbery, an unlawful use of a weapon by a felon conviction in 2014, a 2010 residential burglar and an aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. Reavers received various sentences in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
In addition, the prosecutor told the judge that Reavers has a pending bail violation for an armed habitual criminal charge.
Havis set bail at $2 million for each robbery charge, and an additional $1 million for violation of bond. Reavers is due back in court March 1 in Bridgeview.