Evanston police charged the manager of the and his girlfriend each with public aid wire fraud and three counts of possession of stolen property, officials said, after Thursday.
Police said Usama Bawazir, 27, and his girlfriend, Jennifer M. Mahmood, a 27-year-old employee of the mini-mart, submitted illegitimate Link card transactions in exchange for cash on several occasions.
Sixteen stolen electronic items were also reported recovered during the investigation. Police said they had identified owners for several of the stolen goods and that three of the victims had filed charges.
Evanston police were assisted by agents from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Secret Service during their Thursday search of the A.J. Mini Mart, 1901 Church St., and A.J. Wireless, 1700 Dodge Ave.
During an early 2011 visit to A.J. Wireless to research an unreleased article on 5th Ward businesses, a man claiming to be a co-owner of the store told Evanston Patch that people had sometimes attempted to sell him stolen cell phones and other electronics, but that he had been working with police to identify such items and the people who sold them.
Bawazir and Mahmood, both residents of Willowbrook, are scheduled to appear for a hearing May 22 in Cook County 2nd District Circuit Court, Skokie.