“Life Guard” robber hits fourth North Shore store
The Winnetka Police Department released two composite sketches of the suspect in four robberies or attempted robberies in Glenview, Northfield and Winnetka last week.
Updated: July 1, 2012 12:41PM
A robber has threatened four sales clerks with a knife and demanded money in stores in Glenview, Northfield and Winnetka last week.
The Winnetka Police Department released two composite sketches of the suspect who took money from three of the shops he targeted. The most recent robbery was Friday afternoon at Creme de la Creme in the Hubbard Woods business district in Winnetka. Police officials reported that witnesses said the suspect appeared to be “casing” the businesses on the 900 block of Green Bay Road at about 1:30 p.m. May 18. He then entered a store, showed an employee a knife and demanded money. The robber took $240 and left the store.
Witnesses have provided a detailed description of the suspect; however, the police warn he is dangerous. People should not approach or confront anyone they think may be the suspect. Instead, call 911 if they see something suspicious or have information about the crimes.
The robber was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt with “Lifeguard” printed in white letters on it. He also wore khaki or brown shorts and flip flops, police authorities reported. The suspect appears to be in his late teens or early 20s, about 5-foot, 9 inches tall, with a slender build. He has brown hair with a buzz cut, and was wearing large, round tortoise shell sunglasses.
The day before, a man fitting that description tried to hold up two shops.
A white man, 18 to 23 years old, entered Claire’s, a girl’s accessory store in The Glen, a few minutes after the store opened at 10 a.m. The sales clerk said the man pretended to shop for his sister until the only customer left.
Store manager Crystal Tolzien was not in the shop, at 2031 Tower Center, during the robbery, but she said man ordered the employee to open the cash register.
The employee said she was unable to open it.
“He then said, ‘I don’t want to do this and pulled out a steak knife,’” said Tolzien, adding the man started counting to three.
The clerk “started walking away from the register to the side and he followed, but she ran around the register the other way and out the front door. He ran out, too, and got into a silver Dodge minivan as a passenger.”
“I’m just happy my girl didn’t get hurt. No lives or money were taken,” said Tolzien, who has worked at Claire’s for three years and has never heard of a robbery at The Glen before.
About a half hour later, a man walked into Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, at 300 S. Happ Road, Northfield, and wielded a knife at an employee there, according to the Northfield Police. The robber left the candy store with an undisclosed amount of money, police said. The police notified nearby schools about the crime and the suspect who was at large, police added.
The previous day, a man in a red hooded sweatshirt with Lifeguard on it robbed the Yellow Bird stationery store, at 1515 Sheridan Road, in Wilmette. At about 10:50 a.m., Wed. May 16, the robber told the clerk he had a knife, although the clerk did not see it. He took $200 from the store in the Plaza del Lago shopping center and walked north. Witnesses to that crime told police the robber had “a strong odor of cigarette smoke.”
--Kathy Routliffe and Todd Shields contributed to this story.