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Robbery suspect in custody

PONTIAC, Ill. — The man suspected of a string of crimes locally, including two gas station robberies, was picked up by Pontiac police earlier this week.

Jacob Roach, 27, was picked up outside of his mother's house Tuesday evening, "without incident," according to a press release from the Pontiac Police Department. A La Salle County warrant was out on Roach for robbery.

He is being held on charges of robbery for a gas station robbery that occurred in Grand Ridge Sunday afternoon. La Salle County Sheriff Thomas Templeton said Thursday more charges against Roach were expected.

Prior to the Grand Ridge crime, a similar robbery occurred in South Wilmington. Grundy County Sheriff Kevin Callahan said Thursday charges are expected against Roach for the Grundy crime.

"Grundy County Detectives investigating the robbery that occurred on Sunday morning, January 27th at the South Wilmington Shell gas station, were able to interview Roach and detectives are confident that he is the person responsible for this crime," a posting on the sheriff's department's Facebook page noted.

At about 9:15 a.m. Sunday morning, the South Wilmington Shell on Rice Street was robbed, said Callahan previously. A man in a pickup truck pumped about $75 worth of gas. He then went inside the gas station and, when he went to pay for his items and the cashier opened the drawer, "He forced himself behind the counter, pushed the cashier out of the way, and took cash out of the drawer," Callahan said.

A weapon was not shown nor implied during the robbery.

At about 2:30 p.m. that day, a similar incident occurred at the Grand Ridge Shell station.

At the scene, La Salle deputies learned a white male went to make a purchase at the gas station and then demanded the clerk give him money from the cash register drawer. He then fled that scene.

The press release states Roach is suspected of several robberies, burglaries and stolen vehicles.

On Tuesday in the late afternoon, a white 1992 Chevrolet pickup truck, believed to have been stolen by Roach in Streator, was seen parked behind a motel in Pontiac, according to the press release. Police officers received consent to search the nearby home of Roach's mother, but before police entered, Roach surrendered.

He was transported to OSF St. James Hospital for evaluation and eventually was taken to jail on a La Salle County warrant for robbery and on an Illinois Department of Corrections parole warrant. Callahan said previously Roach was released on parole about three months ago.

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