The fiancee of the man kidnapped works for the TCF Bank targeted in the alleged plot. She received a ransom call demanding money from the bank.
This case sounds like the plot for a summertime movie - an extortion attempt of a bank teller, her boyfriend kidnapped, money traded for the victim. Then the whole thing was foiled by the FBI and local police. The boyfriend was found duct-taped in a suburban basement.
Six people, including one 22-year-old woman who smiled at friends who came to see her in court Friday, have been arrested in an alleged robbery and kidnapping at a suburban Oak Lawn bank.
The FBI says two men brought the kidnapped victim at gunpoint to a home in the Roseland neighborhood on 119th Street, bound him with duct tape and handcuffed him to a chair. They beat him, shot him in the leg and left a pit bull to keep him in place.
The target of the bank robbery was the TCF branch in south suburb Oak Lawn at 10350 S. Pulaski Road.
According to federal agents and charges just released in district court, Oak Lawn cops were contacted Thursday morning by a security guard. The guard reported to police that the TCF teller started getting calls around 5 a.m. on her cell phone from her boyfriend, who said he had been kidnapped and would be killed if she didn't come up with $40,000.
The teller followed the kidnappers' demands and dropped the money near 130th Street and the Bishop Ford Freeway.
According to court documents, the money had a tracking device and the drop was under police surveillance.
A short time later, authorities found the boyfriend duct-taped in the basement of a nearby home. Some suspects were found hiding in a closet and others in a bedroom.
All six suspects were ordered held in the federal lockup until a bond hearing now set for next Tuesday afternoon.
"These are very bad individuals. They were playing Russian roulette with him," said William Monroe, FBI special agent. "The ransom demands went from $20,000 to a demand that the victim's fiancée empty out the vault and bring all the money from the vault to the kidnappers at a drop location."
FBI and police officers arrested 22-year-old Natalie Hoisington outside the home. Neighbors watched as they surrounded the house.
"They had assault rifles out. The FBI, the Chicago police, they were in very aggressive pursuit of these guys," said Eric Harland.
Officers forced their way inside through the back door. They found the victim immediately. But they also encountered two pit bulls about to attack.
"Shortly after the pit bulls were shot, the agents went upstairs and the five remaining kidnappers were arrested," Monroe said.
The six suspects are from Chicago or Wisconsin and range from 22 to 40 years old. They are charged with attempted extortion.
Nobody was injured but police shot and killed several dogs after they were attacked.
Oak Lawn is considering a $500 per month fee for banks "just in case" they are robbed. Oak Lawn had nine bank robberies in 2007, and the city is seeking a way to offset the money it has to pay in solving these crimes.