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Suspect Arrested In Spree Of Joliet Robberies

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Joliet Police say a Plainfield man is in custody and facing several aggravated and attempted robbery charges.

Officials say Thomas Manaras Jr., 34, is facing two counts of attempted robbery, one count of aggravated robbery, and one count of possessing a stolen motor vehicle, as well as several citations related to aggravated fleeing and eluding.

Officers were dispatched to the Louis Joliet Mall just before 1 p.m. Friday after a Burger King employee said the suspect drove up to the drive-up window, ordered food, then, unsuccessfully, demanded all of the money from the cash register drawer. The employee quickly closed the window. The suspect drove away in a red Cadillac SUV.

Shortly after, a 7-11 employee says a suspect, driving the same vehicle, walked into the store located in the 2400 block of Essington and demanded money from the cash register.

Jacob Whitford was working as a cashier at the 7-11 when Manaras walked into the store. Whitford says the suspect started yelling, saying, "Give me everything in the register."

"It kinda took me by surprise, but I'm all right," said Whitford. "His eyes were red and dilated and you knew he wasn't sober."

Whitford says he was only able to get away with $12 from the 7-11 register.

Investigators say while Manaras was in the stolen red Cadillac SUV, he also unsuccessfully tried robbing a Chase Bank through the drive-thru window.

Joliet Police say just before 1:30 p.m. a patrol officer located the suspect on Caton Farm Road and Cryder. The suspect refused to stop and lead officers on a police chase. The police pursuit ended near Route 30 and Spangler.

The crime spree was caught on camera. Cell phone video captured more than a dozen squad cars -- including local, county, and state authorities --  following Manaras after his robbery spree.

According to the Aurora Police Department, the vehicle Manaras was driving was reported stolen earlier in the day. Store employees identified him as the man that robbed and attempted to rob their stores.

Law enforcement says they're familiar with the 34-year old. Police have four mugshots on record, dating back to August 2014.

thomas manaras mugs
Credit: Joliet Police
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