Corkscrew Robber Whines About Rent

“It was an outstanding arrest," a lieutenant said of the suspect's capture

A man who held a corkscrew to a woman’s neck during a robbery was nabbed after the woman, her companion and two Rogers Park District police officers chased him late Tuesday in the North Side’s Rogers Park neighborhood.

The 19-year-old victim, Sunna Noormohammed, entered the lobby of a bank at 2545 W. Devon Ave. at about 11 p.m. A man standing near the ATM told her that he was having trouble using the machine, and that she could go ahead of him.

“This is a common trick,”  said Rogers Park District police Lt. John Franklin.

Noormohammed attempted to deposit $600, but the man pulled out a wine corkscrew and said, “Give me the money now. I’m not kidding. I’ll slit your throat,” according to the lieutenant.

She gave him the money and he “took off,” but she chased after him. Her male companion, 18-year-old Shahbaz Hussain, who was in a car waiting for Noormohammed, also began chasing him on foot.

Rogers Park District Officers Kenneth Meerbrey and Panyathip Sisavath were inside a passing police wagon when they saw the chase and asked what was going on. The two victims replied, “He just robbed me” and Meerbrey -- who is 6-foot-8 --and Sisavath “jumped out and chased the guy too,” Franklin said.

The suspect, Carlos Ramos, slashed the corkscrew at Hussain, who suffered a small cut on his right palm, and Meerbrey and Sisavath captured the man about a block away.

Both the corkscrew and $600 were recovered, and charges were pending against the Ramos, 28. The lieutenant said the suspect made a “full admission,” saying he was having trouble paying his rent.

Franklin said Meerbrey and Sisavath will be recommended for a police department commendation for their efforts.

“It was an outstanding arrest. They did a great job,” Franklin said of the officers.

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