Police search for Dolton bank robber

By The Associated Press

DOLTON, Ill. – Authorities were looking for a gunman who robbed a bank Wednesday in this Chicago suburb and touched off fears of a hostage situation.

Police now believe the robber, who got away with an unspecified amount of cash, fled the Heritage Community Bank before they arrived, said Police Chief Elton McClendon.

Authorities initially feared there were hostages inside, but when they entered the bank three hours later, they only found two employees hiding in a downstairs bathroom, McClendon said.

They didn’t find a gun or any sign of a suspect, who McClendon described as wearing a black sweat suit, black shoes and carrying a 38 mm handgun.

Dolton village spokesman Sean Howard said authorities had been able to communicate with the workers as they hid in the restroom but never talked to the robber inside the bank.

The incident began shortly before 11 a.m. in this town less than 20 miles south of Chicago. The man, wearing a white fleece ski cap over his face, entered the bank and announced the robbery, McClendon said. A bank teller showed him where the money was while customers and employees lay on the floor, then he left, McClendon said.

Authorities blocked off streets around the building as police, FBI agents and the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force worked to resolve the situation.

Police evacuated four to five customers and

employees from the building when the incident began, Howard said.

The last successful robbery at the bank was in 1990, he said.