Man charged with robbing Loop businesses at gunpoint

CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - Bail has been denied for a felon charged with a series of armed robberies earlier this month at businesses in the Loop.

Preston G. Gresham, 57, was arrested at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday in the first block of West Van Buren, according to a statement from Chicago Police. Officers had identified him as the person who robbed a business at gunpoint about 10 minutes earlier in the 400 block of South Financial Place.

After his arrest, detectives also identified him as the suspect in two other robberies in the 300 block of North Michigan, the first at 2:12 p.m. March 5 and the second at 4:30 p.m. March 7, police said. In both of those robberies, he targeted boutiques staffed with female employees and demanded cash from the registers while armed with a silver revolver.

Police had previously released a surveillance photo from one of those robberies and asked the public for help identifying the suspect.

Gresham, a felon who lives in the South Side Gresham neighborhood, was charged with three felony counts of robbery armed with a firearm, police said. Judge John F. Lyke Jr. ordered him held without bond during a hearing Thursday. His next court date was scheduled for March 27.

Gresham had been released on bond on a domestic battery charge Feb. 4, and he was previously charged with armed robbery in October 2017, according to Cook County court records. He was convicted of armed robbery in 1998.

Police said Gresham was also suspected in two other recent robberies on the Near North Side – one March 14 in the 1500 block of North Halsted and another Jan. 29 in the 1000 block of North Clark – but he has not been charged with those robberies as of Thursday afternoon.

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