Police in standoff with Oak Lawn bank robber

June 3, 2012 5:54:08 AM PDT
Police were in a standoff with an armed man Saturday night after he robbed a bank in Oak Lawn.

A man with a handgun robbed the Bank of America branch located in a strip mall at 111th and Pulaski. The bank was robbed around 2 p.m. by a man described by witnesses as being in his 20s, the FBI said.

He brandished a handgun and got away on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash, the FBI said.

Dozens of officers, including SWAT teams from Chicago, swarmed the area acting on reports that the robber was seen on the roof top of the strip mall with a cell phone.

"There were three people in the building when this occurred," said division chief Mike Kaufmann. "But at this point no one has been injured and we're still looking for the offender."

All of the businesses were locked down shortly after the robbery and it was some two hours before people were allowed to leave.

The standoff entered its ninth hour around 10:30 p.m. and police were confident the robber was still somewhere inside the strip mall.

They found blood near duct work and believe the man cut himself trying to hide. Police recovered the bag of money.

The bank had been closed for about an hour at the time of the robbery, but police say the security company was alerted to what was going on through a live video feed.

"The security company had monitored the interior of the bank and saw two people down on the ground with a subject with a gun tying their hands," Kaufmann said.

Within minutes police were on the scene and the entire area surrounding this strip mall was shut down temporarily trapping dozens of people inside the surrounding businesses.

"It was very surreal," said witness Marita Collins. "The police officer came and said everybody get inside right now. So we went inside and the SWAT team showed up about an hour later and then we knew it was serious."

Police said the suspect may have entered the bank through a hole in the roof he made. SWAT teams spent several hours going building to building convinced he is still somewhere inside the complex.

"Police jumped over the brick wall and said, 'police order. Everyone inside,' " said witness Conrad Rusin. "Then we went inside and someone said 'we can see him through the window.' He was crawling on his hands and knees like a dog."


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