Charges filed in store manager's murder

November 25, 2008 8:20:12 AM PST
Three people have been charged in the stabbing death of a Hanover Park woman.Vatsala Thakkar's body was found Thursday afternoon in the parking lot of a Dollar Store on Arlington Drive. Thakkar, 56, was manager of the store.

Three people -- Seneca Berry, 15; Dewaun Tate, 17; and Jerry Lockheart, 39 -- have been charged in the case. All three men face first-degree murder charges as well as one count of armed robbery. They are also from Hanover Park.

Officials said the men were attempting to rob the Dollar Store when Thakkar was murdered.

"It is alleged that these three men took the life of Vatsala Thakkar while she was at work, making an honest living," said DuPage County State Attorney Joe Birkett. ""It is alleged that these three men took the life of Vatsala Thakkar while she was at work, making an honest living. .. Senseless violence will not be tolerated and will be vigorously prosecuted. I would like to thank the Hanover Park Police Department for their quick and thorough investigation into this terrible crime. I would also like to thank Assistant State's Attorney Mary K. Cronin for her work as well."

If convicted of first-degree murder, the men could face 20-60 years in prison. Armed robbery is a Class X felony.

"On behalf of the Hanover Park Police Department, I wish to thank the outstanding work done by the personnel from the Hanover Park Police Department, the DuPage County Major Crimes Task Force, and the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office," said Hanover Park Police Chief Ronald Moser .

"This horrible crime was resolved quickly due to the efforts of those agencies involved and civilian witnesses who provided crucial information. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the deceased, Vatsala V. Thakkar who is survived by her husband, two children and a grandchild. We hope in some way that bringing these offenders to justice will aid the family in their recovery."


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