The search for the Friday afternoon suspect led police to a stop at the intersection of Essington and Black roads that turned out to be unrelated to the robberies.
Joliet police, however, did arrest two teens for possession of marijuana and later towed a car away.
Several police cars were on the scene, drawing public attention to what onlookers described as police handcuffing a group of young men.
The stop occurred about the same time another man in a red Cadillac SUV had tried unsuccessfully to rob a Burger King near the mall and a Chase Bank branch on Essington Road while getting away with $12 from a hold-up at the 7-Eleven on Essington Road.
Deputy Police Chief Ed Gregory said police stopped the car at Essington and Black after getting a report someone who looked like the suspect was in it.
The pursuit of the suspect led to a large number of police cars searching the vicinity before Thomas S. Manaras Jr., 34, of Plainfield was stopped and arrested at Route 30 and Spangler Road in Plainfield.