Ex-con charged in Naperville Radio Shack heist

<p>Christopher Nesbit, 43, who was released from prison just over four months ago, is being held in DuPage County Jail on $500,000 bail, charged in last week's armed robbery of a Radio Shack store in Naperville. | Courtesy of DuPage County Sheriff's Office</p>

Christopher Nesbit, 43, who was released from prison just over four months ago, is being held in DuPage County Jail on $500,000 bail, charged in last week's armed robbery of a Radio Shack store in Naperville. | Courtesy of DuPage County Sheriff's Office

Bail has been set at $500,000 for a Chicago man who was released from prison little more than four months ago, and who is now charged in last week’s armed robbery of an electronics store on Naperville’s northeast side.

Christopher Nesbit, 44, has served nine stints in prison for 10 crimes committed since 1993, according to records on file with the Illinois Department of Corrections in Springfield. Those crimes included narcotics-possession, attempted burglary, possession of a stolen vehicle and retail theft, records showed.

Nesbit remained Tuesday night in DuPage County Jail in Wheaton. He is awaiting trial on a felony charge of armed robbery with a firearm in the alleged Aug. 12 holdup of the Radio Shack store at 1223 E. Ogden Ave. The stickup led to a police pursuit that ended on Chicago’s west side.

Additionally, prison officials have placed a “no bond” hold on Nesbit, in the event he raises the $50,000 he needs in order to be released on bond prior to his trial.

Sun-Times Media reported last week a man was in police custody in the case, but did not reveal his identity, as he had not been formally charged.

The suspect’s name and birth date matched those of Nesbit. He was released April 2 from the downstate Vandalia Correctional Center, where he served a one-year prison term for theft. Prison records indicated all of Nesbit’s crimes occurred in Cook County.

Nesbit about 6:30 p.m. allegedly armed himself with a handgun and then accosted two employees of the Radio Shack, located in the Ogden Mall shopping center. He allegedly stole an assortment of merchandise before fleeing in a car Naperville police last week described as being a gray Volvo.

Police Sgt. Lou Cammiso on Tuesday said one of the employees called police and provided a description of the gunman, the clothing he was wearing and the getaway car. Police officers then “flooded the area looking for suspects,” Cammiso said.

Two detectives traveling in an unmarked car soon saw a motorist headed north from Ogden Avenue toward Interstate 88, Cammiso said. The description of the driver and vehicle matched those given by the Radio Shack worker, he said.

Cammiso said the detectives broadcast a report over the Illinois State Police Emergency Radio Network. They did not continue following the Volvo, as an Illinois State Police trooper advised them members of his agency “were pursuing the car at some point,” Cammiso said.

Interstate 88 eventually turns into the Eisenhower Expressway, and leads east to the near-western suburbs and downtown Chicago. State police and agents of the Cook County sheriff’s office followed the Volvo, although Cammiso said they eventually lost sight of it.

The car was found abandoned later that evening near 15th Street and Kolin Avenue in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood.

Nesbit, who has an unspecified medical condition, “was captured not far from where the car was found,” Cammiso said. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago.

Cammiso, in an Aug. 12 release, said the robbery involved “three male black subjects armed with a handgun.” He said Tuesday police are “still conducting an active investigation concerning other suspects” believed to be involved in the holdup.

Police are also still trying to determine the value of the stolen merchandise, none of which has been recovered. Cammiso would not say whether the Radio Shack has a video surveillance system.

The store was robbed under similar circumstances the evening of Sept. 26, 2005.

A man pointed a rifle or a sawed-off shotgun at employees in that incident before taking money and electronic equipment and then fleeing in a red, four-door Ford Explorer. That crime remains unsolved.

Nesbit has been in jail since Friday. He is scheduled to appear Sept. 9 in DuPage County Circuit Court, according to records.

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