April 7, 2014: Today, a jury of his peers convicted Brian Elisha of Robbery and VUFA charges. The defendant entered the Wawa at Castor and Solly Aves in the early morning hours of October 22, 2009. He first entered the store to “check his ATM balance” and was caught on video without anything covering his face and wearing very distinctive sneakers. About 30 minutes later he re-entered the store in full disguise (hoody, wool jacket, hat, and bandana) armed with a shotgun and announced a robbery. The store clerk immediately ran for her life out the rear entrance and broke her leg in her haste to get out of the store and was never able to identify the robber. The entire incident was captured on video. After a through investigation by NEDD – SIU Robbery team, which included getting records from the ATMs to find the identity of the “man with the sneakers,” they identified the defendant as a suspect. It wasn’t until 6 months later, when the defendant assaulted his girlfriend and actually fired a shot at her from his apartment building with a handgun that Detectives were able to secure a search warrant for the defendants home. During the execution of that warrant, Detectives recovered the exact clothes worn by the defendant, and clearly seen in the video, along with multiple shotgun shells and other bullets. ADA Lauren McHale, with the assistance of CSU Officer John Taggart, was able to show the jury the clothes were an exact match by dressing up a life sized mannequin in the clothes during her closing. The defendant, who has a lengthy criminal record including a previous robbery conviction, will be sentenced on June 6, 2014 by the Honorable Judge Edward Wright.
WAWA Robber Convicted Today