From Model Student to Serial Bank Robber?

James Fedij charged in 5 bank robberies

Thursday, May 6, 2010  |  Updated 4:45 PM CDT
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James Fedij

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James Fedij is one of those that just doesn't seem to fit the profile.

He's a former high school star athlete, a husband and the father of two small children and has no prior criminal record, police said.

But federal authorities arrested Fedij earlier this week in connection with five bank robberies last month in Hoffman Estates, Wheeling, Elk Grove Village, Schaumburg and Arlington Heights

Police say in all five robberies, one of which occurred just about a mile from his home, he passed notes to bank tellers that indicated he had a weapon and demanded cash in small denominations.  Surveillance photos from the banks show Fedij made no attempt to disguise himself.

Police say he made off with about $15,000.

Fedij appeared in federal court Tuesday, where a judge ordered him held without bond.

Police say Fedij suspected he was about to lose his job at the end of April.  Neighbors said family's Hoffman Estates home had recently been put up for sale.

"Hard times are bringing out bad things in people, I guess," said neighbor Janice Aiello. "We're all concerned that it happened so close."

He's a 1998 graduate of Buffalo Grove High School where he played multiple sports, including football and track.  He was a conference champ in wrestling and also played in the symphonic band. 

Police said his wife had no knowledge of his alleged robbery spree.

If convicted, he faces up to 100 years in prison.

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