A 27-year-old Washington Park woman was charged Monday in connection to two armed robberies in Belleville.
Yulonda Y. Stewart, 6100 North Park Drive, Washington Park, was charged with two counts of armed robbery, both class X felonies, by the St. Clair County state's attorney's office.
Stewart was allegedly caught in the act Sunday night as she held up the Jack In The Box restaurant at 500 S. Illinois S. in Belleville.
Police got a call at 9:24 p.m. Sunday from a customer at the Jack In The Box who said it appeared a robbery was taking place at the store. The restaurant is located about three-tenths of a mile from the Belleville police station.
According to the caller, the robber forced everyone in the building to the back of the restaurant. When police arrived, the dining area was empty. Officers made what Captain Don Sax called a "tactical stealth entry" and found a black woman with a thin build holding employees at gunpoint.
The suspect was ordered to put her weapon down and did so without resistance, Sax said.
Stewart was also charged with the Nov. 30 armed robbery the O'Reilly Auto Parts at 4400 W. Main St. in Belleville.
The woman also is believed to have robbed the Hardee's restaurant Nov. 27 at 110 E. Highway 50 in O'Fallon. However, Stewart has not been charged with that robbery.
O'Fallon Police Dept. Lt. Mick Hunter said police thought the suspect was an experienced robber because she was very calm and methodical while committing the Hardee's hold-up. He added that it was very rare for a woman to commit an armed robbery.
Stewart, who has a history of robbery offenses, is currently being held on a $200,000 bond. If convicted, Stewart faces six to 30 years in prison on each armed robbery count.
Reporter Jamie Forsythe contributed information to this story.