Charges filed in abduction of Wheaton College student

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Three people have been charged with kidnapping a Wheaton College student at gunpoint last week outside a Starbucks in Glen Ellyn and then forcing him to withdraw money from ATMs before releasing him unharmed in Chicago, authorities said Friday.

One of the three, Abeet Ramos, 18, of South Elgin, appeared at bond hearing late Friday afternoon at the DuPage County courthouse in Wheaton, charged with aggravated kidnapping and armed robbery with a firearm, prosecutors said. Bail was set at $3 million by Judge Alex McGimpsey.

The two others charged are still at large. One is a male juvenile. The other was identified as Jeremy Jones, 23, of Chicago, authorities said.

According to prosecutors, the 21-year-old student was coming out of the coffee shop in downtown Glen Ellyn about 10 a.m. Aug. 26. The three forced him into a vehicle and took him to four ATMs, but they were only able to take money from two, officials said.

They withdrew a total of $1,500, prosecutors said. The student was let go in Chicago about 11:40 p.m. and given $20 by his kidnappers, officials said.

The victim was wearing a Colorado Rockies baseball hat. During the incident, Ramos, the driver of the vehicle, took the hat and wore it for the duration of the crime, authorities said. That hat was later identified in surveillance video reviewed by investigators.

The suspects also took the victim’s cell phone and forced him to disable the app that would allow the phone to have its location traced.

Ramos was arrested Tuesday after an investigation by Glen Ellyn police, with assistance from other agencies.

Glen Ellyn police Chief Philip Norton said the crime was unusual for the western suburb.

“This type of event is an aberration,” he said. “It doesn’t usually happen in our community.”

Court records show Ramos was free on bond for a pending felony charge in Kane County alleging he fled police in early August in Elgin. He also has a pending misdemeanor case in Kane County involving possession of marijuana.

Wheaton College issued a statement late Friday afternoon: It read, in part:

“The Glen Ellyn Police Department believes that this student was the victim of a random attack and does not believe there is an ongoing threat to the campus community. We are thankful that the student was not physically harmed and are committed to his ongoing support needs. The Wheaton College Department of Public Safety has been working closely with the Glen Ellyn Police Department to assist in their investigation. To avoid compromising the investigation, the Glen Ellyn Police Department requested that the College wait to inform the campus community until an arrest had been made.”

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin called the incident “a brazen violent act.”

A $1,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest of the two people at large. Anyone with information is asked to call Glen Ellyn police at (630) 469-1187.

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