1 charged in Carbondale armed robbery; may be connected to string of armed robberies

Arthur Eckles Jr. (Source: Carbondale Police Department)
Arthur Eckles Jr. (Source: Carbondale Police Department)

ILLINOIS (KFVS) - An Illinois man has been charged in connection to the October 13 armed robbery at the Circle K store.

That armed robbery is one of several in which the suspects were wearing Halloween-style masks.

Arthur Eckles Jr, 43, of Calumet City, Illinois faces a charge of armed robbery.

Michael C. Carr, Jackson County State's Attorney says Eckles has been indicted by a Grand Jury in Jackson County on charges of armed robbery and aggravated robbery.

According to Carr, while acting with others, took money and cigarettes and threatened an employee. He indicated that he had a gun at the time, according to the state's attorney.

He's being held on $500,000 bond in the Jackson County Jail. He is scheduled for arraignment on October 31 at 12:45 p.m.

The investigation is being conducted by the Carbondale Police Department. The State's Attorney, the Asst. State's Attorney is handling the prosecution of the case.

Officers in Carbondale and Herrin, Illinois have been working together on the investigation into a string of armed robberies. They teamed up in August to investigate them together. A $3,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest and conviction of the suspects.

There have been six armed robberies in Carbondale and three in Herrin. In each crime, the suspects were wearing masks and carrying handguns.

The following incidents are being investigated as related:

Sergeant Amber Ronketto with the Carbondale Police Department explained, "We are investigating them all as being connected until at what point we determine that they are not, so we are investigating it very intensively. Obviously, it's very concerning. Most of these incidents have occurred when no customers are in the store. It's employees in the store. It appears they are watching. There doesn't seem to be any kind of time frame pattern or pattern as far as what businesses are being targeted. So it appears to be random."

The City of Carbondale and the City of Herrin announced a $3,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in connection to the string of armed robberies in both cities.

In August, the Carbondale Police Department and the Herrin Police Department partnered together in a joint investigative effort regarding the robberies.

In each incident, the suspects have been described as two black males wearing masks. They have reportedly been armed with handguns.

Police said one of the suspects is described as around 6-foot tall, weighing around 220 pounds. The other male is described as slightly shorter with an athletic or thin build.

The departments are asking for the public's assistance identifying the suspects. They are considered armed and dangerous and police said members of the public should not approach them but instead dial 911 immediately.

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