WAUKEGAN, Ill. (CBS) — Waukegan police believe they have broken up separate rings of burglars and armed robbers working the far north suburbs.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, seven suspects are under arrest.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports

Three of them were arrested in connection with a string of home burglaries that hit at least 14 houses.

Waukegan Police Detective Jason Gutke began investigating after three homes near River Road were burglarized Nov. 8, according to a release from Waukegan police. In each case burglars broke in overnight, entering through unlocked or open overhead garage doors.

Gutke was able to compile a list of suspects after Libertyville police told him they were investigating six similar unsolved cases, the release said. Northbrook police reported five similar cases, also unsolved.

The collaboration led police to 19-year-old Waukegan resident Anton Herres, who was charged with three counts of residential burglary after allegedly making statements tying himself to the break-ins, the release said.

He implicated two other suspects, leading to the Monday arrest of a juvenile on three counts of residential burglary, as well as the arrest of 20-year-old Libertyville resident Joseph Smith, the release said.

Smith was arrested in Northbrook in connection with burglaries there, and allegedly gave statements to Northbrook police implicating himself in the River Road burglaries in Waukegan, the release said. He has yet to be charged in Waukegan.

The juvenile was referred to the juvenile detention center, the release said. Herres was ordered held on $75,000 bond.

Separately, four other men were arrested in connection with a string of armed robberies, after Waukegan police Officer Adriana Cancino allegedly caught them leaving a holdup.

Cancino was patrolling near Green Bay Road and Sunset Avenue about 3:20 a.m. Monday when she saw two men running from a nearby Citgo gas station, according to a release from police.

Cancino learned from a message broadcast on police radio that the gas station had just been robbed and called for backup after confirming the men she saw matched the description of the suspects involved, the release said.

Three of the men were arrested immediately while a police dog with the North Chicago Police Department later arrested a fourth man, the release said. Police recovered $870 in cash and a handgun.

Darryck A. Williams, 20, of the Waukegan, and Charles Gary, 19, of North Chicago, were each charged with three counts of armed robbery, the release said.

Jimmie Lee Cook III, 22, and Terrance D. Cheers, 19, both of North Chicago, were charged with two counts each of armed robbery.

All four were also identified as the suspects in a Laundromat armed robbery little more than an hour earlier, at 2 a.m. Monday at Bubble Land, 1555 N. Lewis Ave. in Waukegan, the release said. Police think they are also connected to a Thursday armed robbery at a Marathon gas station at 901 Glen Flora Ave.

In the previous robberies, the suspects donned dark clothing and ski masks and carried handguns, and fled before police arrived, the release said.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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