Homeless Man Charged in Dollar Tree Armed Robbery

(The following is a joint press release sent out by the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office and the Naperville Police Department.)

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and Naperville Chief of Police Jason Arres announced today that bond has been set for a homeless man accused of robbing at knifepoint a Naperville Dollar Tree store. Melvin Lewis, 44 (d.o.b. 5/17/1977) appeared in Bond Court this morning where Judge Kenton Skarin set bond in the amount of $1.5 million with 10% to apply. Lewis has been charged with Armed Robbery, a Class X Felony.

On December 16, 2021, at approximately 8:59 a.m., officers with the Naperville Police Department responded to the Dollar Tree store located at 1550 N. Route 59, for a report of an Armed Robbery where the suspect displayed a knife. It is alleged that a man wearing a surgical mask, later identified as Lewis, approached the register with several items and after his attempt to purchase those items was declined, he displayed a silver knife which was unfolded and demanded money from the cash register. It is further alleged that after the cashier gave Lewis approximately $60 from the register, Lewis fled the scene at which time the cashier called 911. Through the course of their investigation, authorities identified Lewis as a suspect. He was taken into custody the following day at a nearby hotel where he had been living.

“It is alleged that Mr. Lewis threatened at knifepoint an innocent woman who was trying to make an honest living for sixty dollars” Berlin said. “This type of brazen behavior will not be tolerated in DuPage County and will be met with the full force of the law, as evidenced by Judge Skarin’s significant bond. I commend the Naperville Police Department for their efforts in identifying and apprehending the suspect in this case. It is because of their work Mr. Lewis finds himself facing thirty years behind bars if he is found guilty of the charges against him. I thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Grace Barsanti and Denis Cahill as well for their efforts in preparing a strong case against Mr. Lewis.”

"Crimes like this are senseless and put our community at risk,” Arres said. "We will continue to vigorously investigate crimes such as this and hold those responsible accountable. I would like to commend all of the Naperville Police employees who worked diligently on this case and had the offender in custody the next day. Thank you to the Cook County Sheriff’s office for the assistance from their K9 team. I would also like to thank State’s Attorney Berlin and his team at the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s office for their assistance and guidance as well."

Lewis’ next court appearance is scheduled for January 10, 2022, for arraignment in front of Judge Ann Celine O’Hallaren Walsh.

Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendant's guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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About Naperville: Located 28 miles west of Chicago, Naperville, Ill., is home to approximately 145,000 people. This vibrant, thriving city consistently ranks as a top community in the nation in which to live, raise children and retire. The city is home to acclaimed public and parochial schools, the best public library system in the country, an array of healthcare options and an exceptionally low crime rate. Naperville has ready access to a variety of public transportation, housing and employment options. The city’s diversified employer base features high technology firms, retailers and factories, as well as small and home-based businesses. Residents also enjoy world-class parks, diverse worship options, the opportunity to serve on several City boards and commissions, a thriving downtown shopping and dining area, a renowned outdoor history museum known as Naper Settlement and an active civic community. For more information, please visit our website at www.naperville.il.us.