Accused gunman charged with armed robbery in Palos Heights

By Jeff Vorva

Police believe an alleged gunman taken into custody in Oak Lawn last week robbed at gunpoint a Radio Shack in Palos Heights earlier that day.

The Chicago man is suspected of the armed robbery Wednesday afternoon last week of the Palos Heights Radio Shack, 11901 S. Harlem Ave. He was arrested in Oak Lawn after a standoff with police later that day, police said.

Reginald Taylor, 47, of the 7100 block of South Harvard Avenue, was charged last Thursday by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was charged the next day with the armed robbery of the Palos Heights Radio Shack, police said.

After the robbery in Palos Heights, Taylor allegedly barricaded himself in the stairwell of a home in Oak Lawn, police said. He was armed with a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic handgun, Oak Lawn police Division Chief Michael Kaufmann said. Taylor hid in the stairwell after fleeing police after a witness called 911 to report a suspicious person in an Oak Lawn Radio Shack store, Chief Kaufmann said. Earlier in the day, a Radio Shack store was robbed in Palos Heights. Taylor is also a suspect in a robbery of a Radio Shack in Frankfort on Nov. 1.

Taylor was placed in a lineup last Thursday at the Oak Lawn police headquarters in front of victims of armed robberies in Frankfort and Palos Heights, police said.

Taylor appeared in Cook County Circuit Court for a bond hearing in Bridgeview last Friday, Kaufmann said. According to Oak Lawn police, Taylor was sentenced to eight years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after he was convicted of a residential burglary in Chicago in 1988.

Palos Heights Detective Sgt. Tim Holder said Taylor allegedly entered the Radio Shack at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday last week, and waited for customers to leave the store. He then locked the front door and approached an employee at the cash register, displayed a handgun and announced the robbery, Sgt. Holder said.

After receiving an undisclosed amount of cash, the robber allegedly fled through the rear door of the business before police were called, police said. Twenty five minutes later, Oak Lawn police responded to the Radio Shack located in the 9500 block of Cicero Avenue, for a call of a suspicious person, police said.

Taylor was apprehended after an armed standoff with police in Oak Lawn and both victim employees of the Palos Heights Radio Shack, identified Taylor as the robbery suspect during the lineup in Oak Lawn, Sgt. Holder said.

Police said Taylor could be a suspect in other armed robberies in the south suburbs, as well but would not offer specifics.