JOLIET, Ill. (CBS) — Joliet police say three men have been arrested for holding up students who were walking to school this week.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, police say around 7:10 a.m. Tuesday, a 15-year-old girl who attends Joliet Central High School told school liaison Detective Ken Simonich that she had been robbed.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

“She’d been walking to school at Herkimer and Benton streets when a black car pulled up and a man got out and began asking what she had,” said Joliet police Cmdr. Brian Benton. “She ignored him and kept walking but another passenger got out and hit her, giving her a bloody nose.”

The two men took a cell phone from her backpack and got back in the car.

The girl said she recognized one of the muggers as Uriel Cardenas, 19.

“She recognized Cardenas as the man who’d talked to her from his Facebook profile and was going to show it to Detective Simonich, but as they were going to do that, two other students approached him,” Benton said.

The 14- and 15-year-old boys had been walking near the same intersection about 10 minutes earlier when they were also threatened and robbed by three men in a black car who took a cell phone and cash.

Benton said those victims also recognized Cardenas and later identified him to police.

At 1:30 p.m. the suspects were found in the parking lot of Wendy’s at Center and Jefferson streets with open liquor in the vehicle.

“They were taken into custody and brought to the station. During transport one of the suspects dropped a cell phone in the back seat that belonged to one of the victims,” Benton said.

Cardenas was charged with robbery, along with Adrian Resendiz, 17, and Juan C. Sanchez, 17, all of Joliet.

The Joliet Herald-News contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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