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$1 million bond set in Homer Glen gas station robbery case

Suspect has 28 prior arrests

Published: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 4:45 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 10:52 p.m. CDT
Robert A. Bennett

JOLIET – A Lansing man reportedly told police he was "high on heroin" when he decided to rob a Homer Glen gas station with a shotgun Tuesday.

Robert A. Bennett, 37, has been charged with armed robbery, aggravated vehicle hijacking, attempted vehicle hijacking and aggravated battery. Judge Art Smigielski ordered Bennett held in the Will County jail on $1 million bond.

About 5:20 a.m. Tuesday, Bennett allegedly walked into Speedway, 15060 S. Bell Road, while carrying a shotgun and demanded an employee give him money from the register. When a second employee told him to leave, Bennett hit her with the barrel of the shotgun.

"He struck her in face and head. She was treated at Silver Cross Hospital for injuries to the right side of her head," Will County Assistant State's Attorney Chris Messina said.

Bennett reportedly got $40 from the register and also a customer's purse before leaving in a Scion that broke down at the next intersection. He approached two other vehicles on the street before returning to the gas station and stealing a 2015 Chrysler 200 from a customer, police said.

Bennett was tracked Tuesday afternoon to the Hi-Way Motel in Markham and was wearing the same clothes as the robber in surveillance footage, Messina said.

"He spoke with police and when he was shown the video he identified himself on it," Messina said. "He said he was 'high on heroin at the time' ... he knew he was in big trouble and would be going to prison for a long time."

If convicted on all counts, Bennett could face up to 60 years in prison. Messina told Smigielski that Bennett has been arrested 28 times and served prison sentences in Illinois, Indiana and Florida.

According to Will County sheriff's police, Bennett is also under investigation by Oak Forest police for a similar robbery that occurred there Monday. 

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