Crime

Man charged in robbery of auto parts stores in Belleville, Collinsville

The suspect in a robbery of an auto parts store near Belleville has been charged in connection with the crime, and police believe he is also responsible for a similar robbery in Madison County.

Michael D. Dean, 24, of St. Louis was charged Tuesday with armed robbery with a firearm, a class X felony. According to police reports, at just after 9 p.m. Saturday the Advance Auto Parts store at 924 Carlyle Ave. in unincorporated Belleville was robbed at gunpoint. The robber displayed a small semiautomatic handgun, took an undisclosed amount of cash and fled the scene in a late-model Dodge Charger.

Sheriff’s deputies and Belleville Police Department officers pursued the Charger to the intersection of Illinois 161 and St. Clair Avenue, where police say Dean crashed his getaway car. After a short foot chase, the suspect was taken into custody.

Collinsville Police said they believe Dean is also responsible for the armed robbery of an Advance Auto Parts store on Vandalia, which took place at 9 p.m. Thursday. The suspect in that case also displayed a dark-colored semiautomatic handgun and demanded money from the two on-duty employees. He fled the scene with an undetermined amount of cash.

On Tuesday, the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office also charged Dean with one count of armed robbery, a class X felony, in the Collinsville robbery.

Dean remained in custody Tuesday on $150,000 bail in the St. Clair County Jail. Madison County Associate Judge Neil Schroeder also set bail at $250,000 in the Collinsville case.

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