Two north suburban men were arrested last month in Arizona and charged with beating a 71-year-old man to death to rob his Albany Park neighborhood home on the Northwest Side.
Elijah Timatyos, 23; and Michael Bembea, 24, both face charges of of first-degree murder, home invasion causing great bodily harm and burglary in connection with the death of 71-year-old Allen R. Levin, according to a statement from Chicago Police. A third suspect has not yet been charged.
Levin was a family friend of Bembea and had provided financial assistance to Bembea’s family in the past, prosecutors said in court Monday. In the days before the murder, Bembea and another person discussed robbing Levin because of their own money problems.
Bembea and the other person drove a white Honda Civic from Phoenix, where they were living, to Chicago, prosecutors said. During the trip, the Civic was stopped by police in Wheeler County, Texas, for a traffic violation, prosecutors said. The stop was recorded on surveillance video.
When they arrived in Chicago, Bembea and the other person stayed with a friend, and once again discussed robbing Levin. Between Jan. 24 and Jan. 25, Bembea, Timatyos and the third person drove to Levin’s home in the 4800 block of North Ridgeway. Surveillance video caught the Civic circling the block, prosecutors said.
Bembea forced open the rear door of Levin’s home and pushed the victim down the stairs before letting Timatyos and the other person inside, prosecutors said. They heard Levin fall down the stairs and heard him ask why Bembea was doing this to him.
The third person then covered Levin’s mouth and tried to suffocate him, prosecutors said. Bembea stomped on Levin’s back, severing his spine, and the other person kicked him in the head.
After the attack, they tried to clean up the blood and their fingerprints and wrapped Levin’s body in a blanket, prosecutors said.
They went through the house, taking coins, cash and jewelry, prosecutors said. They left and rented a room at a motel on Lincoln Avenue, then bought cannabis and cocaine before driving back to Phoenix the next day.
About 2 p.m. Jan. 27, police conducted a well-being check at Levin’s home and found him lying on the dining room floor, wrapped in the blanket, prosecutors said. He had a large footprint on his back.
An autopsy found he died of multiple injuries suffered in the assault and his death was ruled a homicide, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
Bembea and Tamtyos were arrested in Phoenix on Feb. 4, and made “incriminating statements” about their involvement in the murder, prosecutors said. Bembea admitted breaking into Levin’s home, stomping on his back and beating him.
Both Bembea and Timatyos were ordered held without bond in court Monday. Timatyos is next scheduled to appear in court March 15. Bembea is scheduled for a hearing March 11. The third person has not been charged.