Victims identified Cortnie Estelle in photo lineups as the man who kidnapped them in dark parking lots and forced them to drive to ATMs to withdraw cash.
One victim, who did not want to be identified, said two men forced their way into her Oak Lawn apartment on Oct. 10.
"We really thought we were going to die," she said. "I'm lying in bed, reading a book and I look up, and there is a man walking through my bedroom door with a gun pointed at me."
She said the men had grabbed her roommate in the parking lot and forced their way into their home.
"I asked him if I could get dressed; he said he would let me get dressed and then he said we were going to the ATM," she said.
The woman said one of the robbers held her roommate hostage while the other forced her to drive to a Chase ATM on Lemmon Avenue.
"I knew he had a gun, and if I did something, he had every intention of using it," she said.
Police said five people have had similar threats in the Uptown area since August.
“There was quite a bit of offenses in the same area,” Senior Cpl. Gerardo Monreal said. “I know people were scared.”
One of the victims was able to provide police with a partial license plate number that lead officers to Estelle.
He is charged with three counts of aggravated robbery, and police said they expect to file additional charges.
Police said Estelle was ring leader behind the robberies. Officers said they are actively searching for his accomplice.