Suspected bank robber takes own life

August 10, 2010 (CHICAGO)

The FBI says the suspect in the robbery took his own life while riding in the back of the taxi. Investigators say the suspect was using the cab as his getaway car.

The robbery happened around 9 a.m. at a Bank of America branch in the 2500-block of West Devon. The suspect allegedly took his own life a short time later when police pulled over the cab on Western Avenue near Catalpa.

The FBI says a bank robber walked into the bank branch and approached a teller demanding money.

"He approached a teller and announced a robbery, he claimed he was armed with a handgun, and he had an explosive device with him," said Ross Rice, FBI. "The teller gave him an undetermined amount of cash. He took the money, fled the bank-- didn't leave anything behind. Witnesses saw him enter a taxi cab."

Police followed the bank robber inside the backseat of a westbound American United cab and pulled it over at Western Avenue, just north of Catalpa.

"The cab stopped, and as the officer was approaching they heard a single gunshot," said Rice.

A suitcase found in the cab was suspected of carrying a bomb. The police bomb and arson unit detonated it, and no explosives were found.

"At this time there is no indication that the robber was assisted by anyone including the cab driver," said Rice. "It appears that he acted alone."

The offender has not been identified nor did he have any identification on him.

Cab company officials say that they believe the offender hailed the cab on the street because they did not have a dispatch order. The suspect asked the cab driver to take him to the bank and wait for him. The cab driver was not hurt.

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