Evanston Police are holding three suspects and seeking a fourth following an attempted strong-arm robbery at Alston Jewelers, 529 Davis St., Thursday.

Police Commander James Elliot says the store’s 89-year-old owner was working in the shop about 11:36 a.m. when three men entered. One of the three went behind the counter and demanded jewelry and money.

Police say that after the owner told the robber he keeps little inventory at the store because he just does custom work, the robber knocked the owner to the ground and beat him with his fists before fleeing the store along with his accomplices.

Three witnesses who saw the incident from the street called police and provided descriptions of the robbers, Commander Elliot said, and officers located two men, and a woman also believed to have played a role in the robbery, a few minutes later at the corner of Hinman Avenue and Church Street, where they were taken into custody after being identified by witnesses.

Police aren’t releasing identities of the suspects, pending the filing of formal charges, but say the woman and one of the men are from Chicago, and the other man is from Harwood Heights, Ill.

Commander Elliot said the store owner suffered bumps and bruises but didn’t require medical treatment. He reported the would-be robbers apparently didn’t take anything from the store.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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