Suspect still at large in Chicago bank robbery



By The Associated Press

CHICAGO – Three masked gunmen stormed a community bank Tuesday, killing a teller and wounding two other people during an exchange of gunfire with a security guard before speeding away in a getaway car, authorities said.

The 23-year-old male teller died after being shot in the back, Chicago police spokeswoman Monique Bond said.

Also shot were a 48-year-old male security guard, who was struck in the chest, and a 73-year-old female customer, said Maria Maher, chief of detectives for the police. Both were in fair condition at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, a hospital spokesman said.

“It happened so fast employees didn’t have enough time to react,” Maher said.

The suspects were in the bank for only four or five minutes and got away with a small amount of cash, Deputy Police Chief Michael Shields said.

The thieves wrested a gun from one security guard and leaped across the counter at Illinois Service Federal Savings and Loan while a third robber stood guard, police said. A second security guard who began firing at the robbers was shot.

Authorities located a car Tuesday afternoon that closely matched the getaway car that could be seen on a surveillance video, said Frank Bochte of the FBI. Police spokeswoman Bond said evidence found in the car, which she declined to detail, appeared to link it to the robbery.

The FBI is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the robbers’ capture.

“We feel the violence exhibited in this case was extremely cruel,” said FBI spokesman Frank Bochte. “The individuals are extremely dangerous. They shot three people today for virtually no reason.”

The bank has no bulletproof separation between customers and tellers, said Chicago Alderman Freddrenna Lyle, a customer of the bank, which is in her ward. The bank was trying to appear less intimidating to customers in the largely black community, she said.

Pilar Jones said her daughter, Jasmine Tate, is a teller at the bank and called her from the building. It was her second day on the job.

“She yelled into the phone: ‘We’re being robbed. A security guard has been shot and I can’t get out,'” Jones said. Tate, 18, was unhurt, her mother said.

A recorded message left on the bank’s main telephone number Tuesday morning instructed callers to try back later, and a voicemail was not immediately returned. Several messages left for comment at the bank’s other Chicago branch were not immediately returned.