The owner of the BP gas station says he knew something was not right when two people tried to use credit cards with someone else's name on them.
The man accused of using a baseball bat to assault a pair of women has been placed in segregation in the Cook County Jail's Maximum Security Division.
Heriberto Viramontes initially declined protective custody, but jail administrators said separating him from other inmates was the best course of action given the nature of the charges against him.
He is being held without bond.
Calling the crime "cowardly," assistant states attorney Erin Antonietti asked Judge Adam Bourgeois earlier Wednesday to incarcerate Viramontes. Bourgeois agreed, calling the man a danger to those around him.
"I don't think that any bond can protect the community from this man," Bourgeois said.
Viramontes, 30, allegedly asked his girlfriend Marcy Cruz, 25, to drive him to the Bucktown area. There, in the 1800 block of North Damen, he beat Natasha McShane and Stacy Jurich over the head with a wooden baseball bat and stole their purses.
Viramontes then got back into Cruz's van and they drove to another location to go through the purses, Antonetti said. He then told Cruz to take any items she wanted before the pair drove to a gas station at Western and Augusta where they used a stolen credit card to buy gasoline.
He "intended to use the women's credit cards to buy other customers purchases and have them give him cash. But they did not know the pin number and had no matching ID so some transactions did not go through."
Viramontes' has a history of crime. His rap sheet includes convictions for possession of a stolen motor vehicle, burglary and domestic battery, Cook County court records show. He also has a conviction for possession of a controlled substance, police said. His current stay in the jail is his 19th time in the facility.
Cruz was not in court. Her fingerprints have not cleared.
Viramontes brother, two sisters and a girlfriend were in court but rushed out, refusing to comment after the hearing.