COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A man pinched for purse snatching in a Northwest suburb admitted to using crack cocaine and then confessed to a rash of robberies in Chicago, authorities said.
Eric Sierra, 39, allegedly told Harwood Heights police that he needed the money to buy crack when he and another man grabbed bags from two elderly Chicago women, fracturing one woman's facial bone with a punch when she refused to let go.
One of the stolen purses turned out to be a diaper bag containing no money, according to a police report. The two men also snatched a statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe from someone else.
Sierra, of Roselle, has been charged with five counts of robbery, aggravated battery and theft.
"Robbery, robbery, (aggravated battery), theft, robbery, now we're in business," Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. said shaking his head when Sierra was brought before him in a Cook County courtroom Monday.
His co-defendant, Daniel Johnson, 53, of Blue Island, has been charged with robbery for his alleged role in two of the robberies and two additional attempted robberies.
Sierra was ordered held on $450,000 bond.