Authorities recognized a five-time felon by his facial tattoos and charged him with armed carjacking after he allegedly showed up in court to support one of his accomplices.
According to prosecutors, Fabian Alonzo, who has stated that he prefers to target Hispanics because they are less likely to cooperate with authorities if they are in the country illegally, also committed an armed robbery outside a Wicker Park Mexican restaurant shortly before the hijacking.
Prosecutors said during a bail hearing Sunday that Alonzo and three accomplices committed an armed robbery outside El Mexico Moderno, 1247 North Ashland, around 3:40 a.m. on September 18. Alonzo’s facial tattoos are allegedly visible in robbery video because a t-shirt he was wearing over his face fell during the hold-up.
In October, police issued a community alert about a string of armed robberies on the same Wicker Park block early on Saturday mornings. The robbery outside El Mexico Moderno was one of the crimes linked to the pattern, which CPD said was carried out by a group of Hispanic men traveling in a black Chrysler 300.
However, prosecutors stated on Sunday that video showed Alonzo committing the robbery, but they did not charge him and provided no explanation for their decision.
They did, however, charge him 90 minutes later with carjacking a Hispanic couple at a Skokie gas station.
Prosecutors said the man and woman were in a pickup truck with a Mexican flag on the hood at the Mobil station at 4002 Dempster when a black Chrysler 300 pulled up and four men stepped out.
Alonzo, 28, allegedly got out of the driver’s seat and demanded the truck keys, while other offenders displayed a handgun and yanked the woman from the passenger seat. According to prosecutors, one of the hijackers pistol-whipped the male victim before driving away in his truck and the Chrysler 300.
As police pursued the stolen pickup, it crashed into a concrete pillar. Officers arrested the two occupants, recovered two guns from the truck, and discovered a necklace and bracelet taken during the robbery outside El Mexico Moderno, according to prosecutors.
According to prosecutors, Alonzo attended a court hearing for one of the men arrested at the crash scene, and he was recognized as he sat in the gallery by his face tattoos.
According to prosecutors, courthouse video showed him leaving the building, and records showed that the Chrysler 300 used in the robberies was parked at the courthouse on the day he appeared.
An assistant state’s attorney stated during Sunday’s bail hearing that Alonzo had been convicted of robbery in 2012, twice in 2014, burglary in 2012, and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon in 2016. According to the attorney, he claims to be targeting Hispanics because witnesses and victims who are in the country illegally do not report crimes or pursue prosecution.
The prosecution’s case, starting with their decision to discuss the Wicker Park robbery without filing charges, was slammed by Alonzo’s public defender. Furthermore, prosecutors did not say whether the video showed Alonzo getting into or out of the Chrysler 300 at the courthouse, implying that someone else drove it there. Furthermore, she argued that, despite prosecutors’ claims that Alonzo targets people based on their ethnicity, he has not been charged with a hate crime.
Judge Charles Beach granted the state’s request to hold Alonzo without bail, citing the “brazenness” of Alonzo’s alleged actions.
“The fact that you were willing to or did appear in courtrooms throughout the county when co-offenders were appearing tells me that you have no fear in your actions, the way you treat court orders, or your societal expectations,” Beach told Alonzo.
Alonzo is scheduled to appear in court again on Tuesday.
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