Local Police Reports

FBI Searches for ‘ESPN Bandit’

Chicago, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), is asking for the public’s help in identifying the individual who is believed responsible for the armed robbery of at least four (4) Chicago area banks and the attempted robbery of a fifth, dating to December of last year.

The most recent theft occurred yesterday afternoon, when the Fifth Third Bank branch, located at 1725 North Harlem in Chicago, was robbed of an undisclosed amount of money. As he has done in prior thefts, the robber entered the bank and approached a teller. He then handed her a manila colored envelope which contained a type written demand note. The note claimed that the robber was armed and threatened the teller with harm if his demands were not met. After obtaining money from the teller, the robber fled the bank on foot, disappearing into the passing crowd.

Prior to yesterday’s robbery, the “ESPN Bandit” last struck on January 13 of this year, when he robbed two banks and attempted the robbery of a third. Robberies took place at the Charter One Bank branch, located at 7312 West Grand Avenue in Elmwood Park, and the National City Bank branch, located at 2100 West Chicago Avenue in Chicago, while an attempt was made at the U.S. Bank branch, located at 26 West North Avenue in Northlake, Illinois.

In all three incidents, the same individual entered the banks and handed a teller a manila colored envelope which contained a typed demand note. The same note appeared to be used in each robbery, which demanded cash and threatened the teller with harm if his instructions were not followed. In all three incidents, the robber fled the bank on foot, disappearing into the passing crowd.

The fourth theft this individual is suspected of committing is the December 10, 2009 robbery of the TCF Bank branch, located at 800 West North Avenue in Melrose Park, Illinois.

The “ESPN Bandit” is described as a white/male, 45 -55 years of age, 5’ 8” – 5’ 10” tall, medium build, graying black hair with full beard, and black framed glasses. He has been given the moniker of the “ESPN Bandit” due to the distinctive “ESPN” baseball style cap that he has worn during two of the thefts.

No injuries were reported in any of these robberies, which are being investigated jointly by the FBI and affected local police departments. Anyone recognizing this individual or having any information about these robberies is asked to call the Chicago FBI at (312) 421-6700.

Additional information about this case and other unsolved Chicago area bank robberies, including downloadable photographs, is available on-line at the Bandit Tracker website, www.bandittrackerchicago.com.