FBI Hunts Riverside Bank Robbers

Massive police presence surrounded bank when offenders were thought to be inside

Police and FBI agents continue a search for three men suspected of robbing a Riverside bank Tuesday morning.

They surrounded the west suburban bank Tuesday morning following a "takeover" robbery.

Three armed robbers walked in, single file, pretending to be among the Bank of America branch's first customers just before 9:30 a.m. They jumped over the teller's counter and grabbed cash, police said.

Surveillance cameras recorded two of the robbers with chrome revolvers. One had a semi-automatic weapon. A fourth person remained outside in a car described as a silver Chrysler 300. An earlier report said the car was green.

When police responded to multiple calls to the branch, at Harlem Avenue and Burlington Street, at least five employees and at least two customers were observed to be spread eagle on the floor.

Police backed off, thinking that the offenders were still inside.

The intensity of law enforcement was prompted in part by the fact that the bank manager had reported to police that he had not seen the robbers leave.

They did a floor-to-floor search, and eventually called for help from surrounding suburbs and SWAT team members from 30 suburbs from as faraway as McHenry and Mundelien. Police Chief Tom Weitzel said a nearby elementary school was placed on lockdown.

Investigators later determined that the three men had left shortly after taking an unknown amount of money, either just as police were arriving or shortly before.

The three offenders in the bank were described as black males. No shots were fired, but the offenders threatened people inside the bank with violence.

Amtrak train No. 380 from downstate Quincy was halted in that area, Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said.

Also, Metra riders experienced delays due to the police activity. The Metra website was not reporting any related delays as of 2 p.m., however.

Copyright CHIST - SunTimes
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