PRESS RELEASE On January 11, 2018 the Waukegan Police Department (WPD) activated its Strike Force Unit (SFU) in a response to recent armed robberies in Waukegan. The SFU is composed of officers from different assignments inside the WPD. Once activated these officers report directly to the Chief of Police for a very specific task at hand. SFU officers, acting in an undercover capacity, began to conduct surveillance on business locations throughout the city. Investigators from the Criminal Investigations Division believed that recent armed robberies were connected with a white four door sedan. That information was passed on to the Patrol Division and the SFU. While conducting surveillance on the 11th, around 8pm, in one of the business locations, an SFU officer spotted a sedan matching the above description. The sedan passed the business several times and then parked. The SFU officer contacted other SFU officers and patrol officers and relayed this information. While doing so, two subjects exited the sedan with their faces and hands concealed. A third subject stayed in the sedan. The business was the Dollar General located in the 2200 block of N. Lewis. As officers began to arrive on scene, both subjects ran from the Dollar General back to the sedan. All three subjects attempted to flee in the sedan, striking a police car. With the sedan inoperable, two subjects then fled on foot and the driver was taken into custody immediately in the sedan. Officers gave foot chase and eventually apprehended the other two subjects. Officers recovered a BB gun and proceeds from the robbery in the sedan and a loaded revolver during the foot pursuit. While officers were investigating the incident, witnesses from the business called 911 telling the dispatch operator that the convenience store had been robbed at gun point by two male subjects. The two subjects that fled on foot during the incident were Markis Randle, 39 years old, of Beach Park Illinois and Brandon Sledge, 37 years old, of Waukegan. Both are being held on $350K bonds in the Lake County Illinois Jail. Randle will appear in court again on 1-18-18 at 9am. Sledge will appear in court again on 1-30-18 at 1:30pm. The driver of the sedan, Robert E. Thomas, 46 years old, of Waukegan is currently in the custody of the Waukegan Police Department on a $750,000 arrest warrant. The arrest warrant was obtained today (1-16-18). Thomas is scheduled to appear in bond court on 1-17-18. It is alleged that all three subjects participated in armed robberies on 12-19-17 (Waukegan Gyro / 1100 block of Golf Rd), 12-26-17 (Mobile Gas / 1900 block of Washington St) and 1-11-18 (Dollar General / 2200 block of N. Lewis Ave). All three subjects are charged with three counts of armed robbery. Randle and Sledge were also charged with Resisting a Peace Officer. The loaded revolver was sent to the Northern Illinois Crime Lab for further processing. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty.