FBI searches for Tire Iron Bandit

January 5, 2012 5:12:25 AM PST
The FBI is looking for a man they say has robbed two banks in the southwest suburbs.

The suspect received the nickname Tire Iron Bandit because he reportedly holds a tire iron in his hand during the robberies.

The most recent robbery happened Tuesday at a First Merit Bank branch on South Archer Avenue in Willow Springs.

The suspect is also believed to have robbed that same bank in July 2010.

The robberies are being investigated by the FBI and Willow Springs police. The FBI said during the most recent theft, the robber entered the bank late in the afternoon just as two employees were preparing to close for the day. The robber quickly approached the teller counter, holding a tire iron in his left hand, and demanding money from the tellers on duty. The robber then placed a small duffel bag on the counter and held it open for the tellers, who placed cash from their drawer inside. The robber then fled the bank, but his method and direction of escape was not seen, according to the FBI.

During the previous robbery in 2010, the robber entered the bank and approached the teller counter. While holding a tire iron in his hand, he announced a robbery, ordering a bank employee to place money from her drawer into a black gym bag that the robber brought with him. He repeatedly threatened bank employees with harm, if his demands were not met. After receiving an undisclosed amount of cash, the robber fled the bank on foot and was last seen running through an adjacent alley, an FBI news release said.