Police say a 19-year-old man and two younger teens robbed three students walking to Joliet Central High School by staking out an intersection less than two blocks to the north of the school, Joliet police said.
Police said they were able to identify and apprehend the trio thanks, in part to a social-media page one of them maintained.
Uriel Cardenas of the 200 block of North Hickory Street is charged with one count of aggravated battery, two counts of robbery and one count of theft in one charge and two counts of theft in a second charge. Adrian Resendiz, 17, of the 600 block of Manhattan Road and Juan C. Sanchez, 17, of the 1000 block of Summit Street are each charged with two counts of theft.
Cmdr. Brian Benton said two male students, 14 and 15, told a police officer at the school they were walking to school at the intersection of Herkimer and Benton streets around 6:50 a.m. when two males emerged from a black car and forcibly took cash and a cell phone from their pockets.
A 15-year-old girl told the officer she was walking through the intersection at 7:05 a.m. when two males exited the car. She said one of the males, identified as Cardenas, punched her in the face after she ignored the other male's questions. She said they took her cell phone from her backpack.
Benton said the students knew the first name of one of the alleged assailants, fully identifying him and the second alleged assailant using Facebook and a photo lineup.
Police took Cardenas, Resendiz and Sanchez into custody around 11:55 a.m. near Cardenas' home during a traffic stop for illegal transportation of alcohol, Benton said, adding police determined the third teen was the driver during questioning.
Police also found one of the cell phones that had been reported stolen in the back seat of the squad occupied by the trio, Benton said.
Resendiz and Sanchez remained this afternoon in the Will County Adult Detention Facility in lieu of $20,000 bail each. Bail was set at $40,000 for Cardenas, who remained in the facility on an immigration hold.