Thursday, January 14, 2016

Cops: Man Robbed Two Stores Near Clark & Diversey

A neighborhood pest went a couple of steps too far and he's now charged with robbing a Walgreens and a 7-Eleven near Clark and Diversey last week.

Bensfield (Cook County Sheriff's Office)
Prosecutors say 40-year-old Raymond Bensfield walked into the 7-Eleven at 2619 N. Clark Street around 9:30 last Wednesday and claimed to have a gun as he took five packs of Marlboros and two bottles of Jack Daniel's.

The next morning, Bensfield allegedly walked into the Walgreens at 2817 N. Clark, took a bottle of J├Ągermeister, and then claimed to have a gun when an employee confronted him.

Bensfield was arrested about 2 hours after the Walgreens robbery when the 7-Eleven clerk that he allegedly robbed saw him standing in front of a nearby Best Buy store and called police.

He's charged with two counts of aggravated robbery and two counts of aggravated assault. Bond is set at $200,000

Court and police records show that Bensfield, who lives in the 2700 block of N. Lakeview, has been arrested several times near Clark and Diversey lately.

• On November 9, an employee of the Market Place grocery store, 521 W. Diversey, claimed that Bensfield punched him in the face when he confronted Bensfield about allegedly stealing merchandise. Charges were dropped when the victim failed to show up in court, records show.

• On November 3, an employee of the 7-Eleven at Pine Grove and Diversey detained Bensfield for allegedly trying to shoplift a can of Steel Reserve Spiked Punch and a six pack of Fat Tire Amber Ale. These charges were also dropped because the witness did not appear in court.

• Back in July, Bensfield received a 6-month sentence after he pleaded guilty to pulling a knife on on an employee of Walmart Neighborhood Market, 2844 N. Broadway, after the victim confronted Bensfield in an area that is reserved for employees.

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22 comments:

  1. Dude needs to get sober...

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  2. My only question is heroin or meth?

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  3. CWB, you guys know there's a homeless shelter at 2700 N Lakeview, right? How come you didn't point that out? Just wondering.

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  4. It's not a homeless shelter. It's a Thresholds facility for people with mental illness. Both residential and daytime drop-in services.

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    1. I thought they sold 2700 Lakeview and moved the operation to Ravenswood...?

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  5. It is true that Thresholds is a facility for people with mental illness and substance abuse issues. I have known Ray, through Thresholds, off and on for about ten years. His friends and I have tried to help him over the years and are so sad to hear of this latest development. He is seriously mentally ill and had a horrendous childhood. He was sexually abused by a family member from age four until he ran away from home at age fifteen. There was no intervention by anyone and so he turned to alcohol to self-medicate, which led to crime more serious than that which is listed here. He is very articulate and well read, but this is only apparent during moments of clarity. I certainly am not justifying his behavior. He will now have to pay the price. The point is that many of these people were destroyed from the get go through no fault of their own and later received help a day late and a dollar short. Thresholds is a good organization and unfortunately could not make a difference in Ray's life. Neither could he help himself. CWB and the choir will no doubt react with snark to what I have written. But remember, mental illness like physical illness, can happen suddenly or over a period of years to anyone. Even you.

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    1. You are welcome to search three years of our archives in search of mental health snark from us. You won't find any.

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    2. There is always someone making excuses for a lousy drunk criminal. That same mentality has led us to a point where judges let criminals off with short sentences, parole boards let prisoners out of prison early, prosecutors make plea deals to minimize offenses, and cops are sick of arresting perps who will never do time.

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    3. If you were treating him you should get his permission before posting his personal health info all over the internet. But don't let that slow your preaching down....

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    4. Also, coming from the perspective of a mental health professional...I wonder if Ray would have consented to you divulging his sexual abuse history on a public blog? Not appropriate, no matter your relationship to him.

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  6. CWB@12:23 AM: I'll take your word for it that you haven't but now you just did, my friends, at the beginning of this thread. You referred to Ray as a "neighborhood pest". (Should anyone want to snark my grammar - single quotes are used for quotes within a quote.) Look at a Ray's picture - his eyes. Does he appear to be a rationally functioning person to you?

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    1. Merriam-Webster's online dictionary defines snark as an "expression of mocking irreverence and sarcasm". I wouldn't personally call describing Ray as a neighborhood "pest" as mocking, irreverent or sarcastic. It just seems like an accurate description. The same dictionary defines pest as "a person who bothers or annoys other people". I don't think CWB is wrong or cruel in their description.

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    2. "Neighborhood pest" is a polite understated description for this criminal.

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  7. @11:59AM;@3:18PM - I had no involvement in his treatment at Thresholds. Therefore I didn't violate any HIPAA guidelines. However, I do know him. And no, I'm not "preaching down", but giving information that might help you understand, in part, why Ray is the way he is. Or would you rather think he should be locked up with the key thrown away? Read any newspaper and you will find all kinds of
    information about all kinds of people printed for all to see. Ray would not be upset over what I have written.

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    1. Perhaps when YOU are his next victim you will stop making excuses for him.

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  8. "Social workers" want as many people as possible to have a "mental illness" because that is what maintains their income stream.

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    1. Right.... because social workers are very interested in exploiting the under-served and mentally ill for financial reward.

      What a ridiculous and horrible thing to say about those who chose the noble, yet difficult, low-paying and thankless career of social work.

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    2. I agree that social workers are very interested in exploiting the underserved and mentally ill for financial reward. The Center on Halsted and other bogus "social service" organizations are crawling with them. They are just like the storefront preachers who exploit uneducated lonely old women for financial reward.

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  9. Did he really have a gun..thats serious stuff

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  10. I am sorry your friend has ended up like this.

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    1. Why aren't you sorry for his victims??? He terrorized people with weapons and physically assaulted some. He is scum. Fuck him.

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  11. I live in the neighborhood where this fellow plied his trade and can state unequivocally that he has been a threat to the neighborhood for several years. Regardless of the reasons for his issues, they exist and he needs to be off the street, whether it is in jail or a mental health facility.

    Now let's hope that the many others in this North Lincoln Park neighborhood with similar issues, and records, are given the help they also need thru the judicial system, the mental health system, or both.

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