A man accused of robbing an employee at an Orland Park restaurant using a BB pistol, before driving away in the employee’s car and escaping the area after a chase, has been caught, according to authorities.
Jonathan E. Sarolas, 23, of the 13500 block of Erin Drive in Homer Glen, was charged Friday with aggravated vehicular hijacking, a Class X felony.
On Friday, a Midlothian police officer saw people described as suspicious around the Midlothian Metra stop at 3750 W. 147th St. around 3:30 p.m. The officer recognized most of the people from past contacts, but didn’t recognize Sarolas, Orland Park Police Commander John Keating said Sunday. Sarolas gave the officer a false name when he was approached, according to a release from the Orland Park Police Department.
Sarolas then took off running away from the officer, and Midlothian officers caught him after a chase, according to the release. Police found his real name and also found the Orland Park warrant, and he was brought in to the .
The woman who was robbed then identified Sarolas in a line up, and Sarolas admitted to his role in the robbery, police said.
On June 25, an employee was getting into her car after working at Red Lobster in Orland Park around midnight , police said. A woman later identified as April D. Schmidt, 22, of the 2700 block of Windham Terrace Drive in Woodriver, then got into the car, and they drove away south on LaGrange Road at a high rate of speed, according to police.
Patrol officers saw the car on LaGrange, matching a description given by dispatch just as it passed, and they followed the car. Sarolas and Schmidt turned west on 167th Street while police followed, and then turned into Liberty Drive where they hit a dead end, according to reports.
Sarolas fled on foot into a heavily wooded area, while Schmidt was caught by police, according to authorities. All of the employee’s property, including the car and a purse, were fully recovered without any damage.
Officers from , , Tinley Park, Joliet and the Cook County Sheriff’s Office searched the woods, along with a bloodhound and helicopter support, but Sarolas wasn’t found.
He is being held without bail after a hearing on Saturday, and is scheduled to be back in court on Monday.
Sarolas was released from state prison on June 14 after serving a sentence for burglary convictions.
Schmidt is expected to be back in court on July 16.
Looking for more police stories?