Riverside’s police chief said one of his officers’ actions during the early morning hours of Oct. 1 prevented an armed robbery and led to the arrest of a 22-year-old man who is suspected of being part of a crew that committed a robbery in Oak Park earlier that night.
Dellis D. Woodland, of Chicago, has been charged with armed violence, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. At the time of his arrest, Woodland was on parole for a January 2020 conviction for possessing a firearm with a defaced serial number.
He is being held without bond at Cook County Jail.
According to the police report, a police officer on patrol at about 1:20 a.m. observed a 2018 Nissan stopped in a traffic lane on 26th Street about 75 feet west of 7-Eleven, 2600 Harlem Ave.
As the officer pulled up his squad car behind the vehicle, it immediately made a left turn from the right lane into the Costco parking lot. The officer drove into the 7-Eleven parking lot and reported observing two people, dressed in black, walking to the front entrance of the minimart.
When the two saw the squad car, they turned around and started walking north toward Costco. The officer trailed them to the rear of the AT&T store, 2518 Harlem Ave., and ordered them to stop.
The two then began running back south towards the black Nissan, which was parked in the lot. At that time, the officer reported seeing a third person joining the other two. All three ran east, crossed Harlem Avenue and ran between the buildings at 2601 Harlem Ave.
Another police officer responding to the scene located Woodland and took him into custody at gunpoint. Woodland reportedly possessed one plastic bag containing a number of green pills, a sealed bag of cannabis, a package of cannabis blunts and keys to the Nissan left in the Costco parking lot.
Police recovered candy and cigarettes on the ground near the AT&T store and then located more candy and a loaded 9 mm Glock handgun magazine in the side yard of an apartment building in the 7100 block of 26th Street, Berwyn.
A search of other yards in the vicinity turned up a loaded Sig Sauer handgun in a bush. Police reportedly obtained a search warrant for Woodland’s phone and retrieved a text message that included a photo of the Sig Sauer and a message indicating it was his.
Woodland allegedly told police he was in the rear to sell drugs, not commit a robbery. But, Oak Park police said they had an armed robbery that night and that a description of one of the suspects matched Woodland. Proceeds from the Oak Park robbery allegedly were recovered in the Nissan used in the Riverside incident.
Riverside police believe Woodland was responsible for numerous robberies in Chicago and the west suburbs.
“There is no doubt midnight shift officers prevented an armed robbery from taking place,” said Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel in a press release. “Mr. Woodland was going into the front door of the 7-Eleven with a loaded handgun, dressed all in black, and fitting the description of prior armed robbery suspects in the western suburbs and Chicago.”