Bail was denied for two men tied to a string of armed robberies the Rogers Park neighborhood that authorities said all took place in the same gangway and were set up as rendezvous arranged through the dating app Grindr.
Prosecutors said Stephen Jackson, 25, and Trenell Kirkman, 28, arranged to meet with six different men through the popular app beginning Oct. 27 through Thursday when they were arrested by undercover officers during a sting in the 7600 block of North Bosworth Avenue. Police said the two may have been robbing people since Oct. 14.
In each instance, the men arranged to meet a victim, either for sex or drugs, and agreed to meet on North Bosworth Avenue, all in the same gangway, police said. Once there, one of the men would wave the victim over into the gangway and then pull out a small silver revolver, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Bob Groebner.
The men demanded the wallets and phones of the victims and demand the phone passcodes and debit card PIN numbers, Groebner said. One surveillance cameras captured portions of the robbery, while another captured one of the suspects using one of the victims’ debit cards, he added.
None of the victims was injured.
Police arranged an undercover investigation where an officer posed as someone wanting to meet on Thursday afternoon. Once both suspects and the officer were in the gangway about , police swarmed in and made the arrest without incident, according to prosecutors and the arrest report.
Jackson, of the 1500 block of Darrow Avenue in Evanston, was charged armed robbery with a firearm, attempted robbery with a firearm and unlawful possession of a credit or debit card. Kirkman, of the 11900 block of Washington Avenue in Blue Island, was charged armed robbery with a firearm and attempted armed robbery with a firearm. He was also charged with solicitation of a sexual act because he arranged to meet one victim for sex in exchange for $150, according to court documents. After his arrest on Thursday, state corrections authorities filed a parole violation against Kirkman for a 2013 drug conviction.
Both men were expected to return to court next week.