Elmhurst store robbery suspect enters ‘not guilty’ plea

Chronicle Media

Michael Cooper

A Bellwood man entered a “not guilty” plea Jan. 3 when appearing in DuPage County Circuit Court in connection with the robbery of an Elmhurst cigar store.

Michael Cooper, 19, of 528 Englewood Ave., was arraigned on one count of aggravated robbery in connection with the Dec. 3, robbery of Old Havana Cigar Shop, located at 189 E. Butterfield Road.

Aggravated robbery is a Class 1 felony, punishable by 4-15 years in prison, two years’ supervised release and/or a fine of up to $25,000.

Both the prosecution and defense say they are waiting on video surveillance of the robbery before proceeding.

Cooper is next scheduled to appear in court Jan 23.

The Bellwood man was being held in DuPage County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bond.

At 8:12 p.m. Dec. 3, Elmhurst police responded to the call of a robbery in progress at the Old Havana Cigar Shop. Upon their arrival, police said, the offender had already fled the scene. An investigation into the case led police to Cooper, who, police said, armed with a BB gun, entered the business and allegedly handed the clerk a note, which read “Keep calm, give me the money. I don’t want to kill you.”

Police said that the clerk, believing the gun to be real, gave Cooper $1,250 from the register and that Cooper then fled the scene.

“It is alleged that Mr. Cooper armed himself, traveled to DuPage County, threatened a man trying to make an honest living and stole more than $1,200 from the Old Havana Cigar Shop,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said after Cooper’s arrest. “This type of brazen behavior will not be tolerated and will be met with the full force and effect of the law. Through the outstanding efforts of the Elmhurst Police Department, Mr. Cooper was identified and apprehended a short time later.”



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