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Feds: Man threatened store employees with gun during October robberies

A surveillance photo allegedly shows Dennis McKay robbing a store at gunpoint Oct. 6, according to federal authorities. | FBI

A man is facing federal armed robbery charges for allegedly robbing one store and attempting to rob another in two separate Chicago incidents last month.

Dennis McKay, 44, is charged with one count each of Hobbs Act robbery and attempted robbery, according to FBI spokesman Garrett Croon and a criminal complaint in U.S. District Court. The complaint was filed Nov. 9 after he was identified as the suspect in an Oct. 6 armed robbery and an Oct. 26 attempted armed robbery.

A federal judge ordered the complaint unsealed after McKay was arrested Tuesday morning by the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force, Croon said.

At 10:26 a.m. Oct. 6, a male suspect entered an unspecified store on South Cicero Avenue in Chicago and asked for an employment application, according to the criminal complaint. An employee gave him an application and he left the store at 10:28 a.m.

About 10:30 a.m., the person re-entered the store followed by McKay a short time later, prosecutors said. McKay approached the store’s manager near the back of the store and, after confirming that he was speaking with the manager, pulled out a revolver.

“I want you to empty the safe,” McKay told the manager, according to court documents. “My brother is up front with old girl. If you do something stupid, I’ll shoot you.”

The other male suspect watched as McKay accompanied the manager to the store’s office, where the manager placed about $400 from the safe into a bag and handed it over, prosecutors said. The manager then gave McKay the money from the cash register before the two suspects left the store and drove away in a white Chevrolet Uplander van parked in a nearby alley.

The manager and a customer later identified McKay as one of the suspects in a photo lineup, according to prosecutors.

A surveillance photo allegedly shows Dennis McKay threatening a store employee with a gun during an attempted robbery Oct. 26, according to federal authorities. | FBI

The second incident happened Oct. 26 at an unspecified store on West Chicago Avenue in Chicago, according to court documents. A male suspect entered the store at 12:12 p.m. and walked to the back of the store, while McKay entered about a minute later and approached the counter with money in his hand.

One of two employees who were standing in front of the counter then went behind the counter to attend to McKay, locking the door to the area behind the counter as he went, according to the complaint. McKay then pulled out a large silver revolver and pushed the remaining employee toward the counter.

McKay ordered the employee behind the counter to open the door, and when the employee refused, he pointed the gun at the employee remaining in front of the counter and said, “I’m gonna blast him. I’m gonna kill him.”

During this exchange, the other suspect tried to kick down the door but was unsuccessful, prosecutors said. McKay then demanded the remaining employee’s wallet, and the employee gave him $435 in cash from his pocket.

The suspects then left the store and were recorded on surveillance cameras getting into a white Chevrolet Uplander van similar to the one used in the Oct. 6 robbery, according to court documents. The employees later identified McKay in a photo lineup.

McKay, who lives in Chicago, appeared in federal court Tuesday and was ordered detained, Croon said. His next court date was not immediately known.