US Bank at Madison and Austin in Oak Park robbed

Thief claimed to have bomb in bag

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Show/Hide Gallery

By Jean Lotus

Contributing reporter

US Bank, 11 W. Madison St., was robbed Monday evening just one minute before a 5 p.m. closing time. Several other customers were in the bank at the time. According to police reports, a man placed a black duffle bag on the counter and handed the teller a note demanding money.

"He claimed he had a bomb in his bag and threatened harm if his demands were not met," said Cynthia Yates, public affairs specialist at the FBI. The teller filled the bag with an undisclosed amount of money and the man exited the bank, walking eastbound.

The suspect was described as a black male, 25-30 years old, 6-feet tall with short hair. He was wearing sunglasses and a black baseball cap. He wore a black T-shirt and black pants and black-and-white gym shoes. Bank video surveillance images show him to be wearing a long, thick chain around his neck and to have scraggly facial hair.

According to, a reward is offered for information about this suspect. Anyone with information can call the FBI at (312) 421-6700.

Reader Comments

28 Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Violet Aura  

Posted: September 14th, 2011 4:49 PM

@Daniel H.: Thank you for at least asking me the answer. I sure don't have it; it's too complex a situation. There are many factors creating dysfunction in subclasses of Whites, Blacks and Hispanic. Some common factors are poverty, family disorder, violence in the home and 'hood and lack of educated parents. But there are some factors specific to each culture. What I was saying is that pointing to White people who commit crimes doesn't address the disproportionate stats for young Black men.

OP Guy  

Posted: September 13th, 2011 9:20 PM

Val, Goodjob, John, the "thuglike waste of space loser" comment was obviously directed at a certain portion of AA that perpetuate the stereotype who bring the rest of the good hardworking AA population down with THEIR "thug" like behaviour. It's not my problem that you guys can't read inbetween the lines. Yes, Val, bank robbing has existed for a long time, so has rape, murder... choose you crime, but this is a specific situation in a specific society, with specific problems.

Daniel Hurtado  

Posted: September 13th, 2011 8:45 PM

You are correct Violet. Crime rates are higher among blacks and particularly young black males. A disproportionate percentage of prison inmates are black males. So what's the explanation? You come off as racist to some readers because you say no more than that we cannot "kumbaya it away." What do you think the take-away should be?

Q from Anywhere  

Posted: September 13th, 2011 7:50 PM

Diversity, Thanks for sharing. Now everyone else, notice that both robbers wore an extended bill baseball cap. The White guy kept his head down from the camera more so then the Black guy.


Posted: September 13th, 2011 5:53 PM

check out this bank robber:

Violet Aura  

Posted: September 13th, 2011 5:51 PM

One thing I would like to add is that I wonder what the purpose of security guards is at these banks. They aren't packing and don't seem able to do much of anything to stop robberies so what gives? This also applies to all the Homeland Security TSA agents on the El and buses. They don't pack any heat and yet we're supposed to breathe a sigh of relief when they're present? It's such a joke and it's on us. The least they could do is grab our crotches like their counterparts at O'Hare do...

Violet Aura  

Posted: September 13th, 2011 5:48 PM

@Epic: Soooo...Muriel from RF says that "young black men seem to get into trouble..." and nary a peep from you. I simply point out that the term "African-American" should only refer to NATIONALITY and not denote race and I get called every name but a child of God.


Posted: September 13th, 2011 5:35 PM

I hate to have to agree with Violet but she is partially correct in her comment that the picture is of a black man and calling him African American is simply an assumption. If he is not a citizen and here illegally or on a visa/work permit/greencard, etc, he is NOT american. And what evidence is there that he is actually from Africa, and didn't come from some other country. The point is, not all black people are African American

epic lulz  

Posted: September 13th, 2011 5:20 PM

Didn't take long for our leading resident racist, Violent Aura, to flood this thread with her usual racist crap. Any story with a picture of a black man, and she is all over it. What a sad pathetic life she has. WJ, when are you going to start dealing with these racist trolls? They reflect badly on your ability to run a professional website.

Violet Aura  

Posted: September 13th, 2011 4:50 PM

@John: How do you know this man was an African-American? Did he wear his passport from Nigeria? Because we all know that not all immigrants from Africa are BLACK and so it is erroneous to use that term to denote race. We also know that 'White' is used left and right on blogs and 'Black' is danced around, as if it were a dirty word. What a crazy world, huh?

Violet Aura  

Posted: September 13th, 2011 4:47 PM

@Val: Well, I don't characterize human being like that myself, but the inconvenient truth is that when you pick up the Suntimes or come on here, you see a certain demographic over and over. And it's too complex an issue to simply dismiss the perps as "thug losers" but it's also not enough to point to other groups who also rob banks. We can always point to a myriad of groups acting badly but if it's happening at epidemic levels in one subgroup, we cannot kumbaya it away...

Violet Aura  

Posted: September 13th, 2011 4:41 PM

@Curious: Lack of brains? Was he unsuccessful in his endeavor? How many thousands did he take with him? Very odd assessment of this gentleman...

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: September 13th, 2011 4:14 PM

Val - couldn't agree with you more. Every time a minority, particularly African American, is in the WJ news we get sociology lessons from the pseudonym crowd. The amount of ignorance on the subject is daunting.

Great Job..  

Posted: September 13th, 2011 4:12 PM

I'm going to pretend that I can think of another reason to call him a "thuglife loser" besides him being black. I just don't recall ever seeing a white bank robber called a "thuglife loser." Interesting choice of non-race based words with no hint of bias...hmmm

Jean Lotus from Oak Park  

Posted: September 13th, 2011 3:30 PM

If you click on the link in the story ( you will note that bank robbers come in all races and ages. Although they seem to be mostly men.

Val Camilletti from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: September 13th, 2011 3:25 PM

Gee when I was in a bank last spring & it was robbed by a 65 year old white guy in a baseball cap & a poplin jacket, I don't remember a single comment about bad parenting, thuglike waste of space loser or pre-school -- bank robbers have been around a while --- banks have money, people rob 'em.

OP Guy  

Posted: September 13th, 2011 3:16 PM

#840: Afican American.

OP Guy  

Posted: September 13th, 2011 3:10 PM

muriel schnierow, it's got little to do with going to pre-school, and more to do with the lack of parenting, and the realities of growing up in poverty. Here's an interesting article: that shows some of the self-destructive culture that children in Austin grow up around. Throwing money at Austin is one thing, but won't do much good if there isn't a wider cultural change, and this common view in Austin.

OP Resident #840 from Oak Park  

Posted: September 13th, 2011 3:02 PM

OP Guy what are AA's

muriel schnierow from River Forest  

Posted: September 13th, 2011 2:59 PM

it is my impression that robbing a bank is illegal. how about facing facts? For whatever reason young black men seem to be getting into trouble. so put them in preschool(we can pay for that by getting out of the dumb wars),and in preschool and for years after drum integrity,good manners,and proper behavior into their heads. They are perfectly capable of performing.

OP Guy  

Posted: September 13th, 2011 2:56 PM

Too bad their cameras SUCK! I know 2 year olds that could draw a more detailed portrait! What is with these blurry pre-1980s security camera images? You'd think banks would have the money to buy better technology.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: September 13th, 2011 2:47 PM

If it was an inside job, the person inside must have been quite a salesperson. The crook was not told by the insider to cover his face because there are more cameras in banks these days than at a Hollywood shoot!

OP Guy  

Posted: September 13th, 2011 2:11 PM

Cont. I'd like to see this waste of space "thuglife" loser go down so the rest of the waste of space "thuglife" losers know what will happen to them if they try this kind of stupidity in OP.

OP Guy  

Posted: September 13th, 2011 2:07 PM

#545, "populist hogwash"? LOL. Having a number of family members in the banking industry allows me varying insights into the "scummy" things banks do on a day to day basis, and I'm not just talking about the housing crisis. Maybe you should reserve your comments for things you know something about, please!

OP Resident # 545 from Oak Park  

Posted: September 13th, 2011 1:48 PM

I hate to appear cynical, but this has all the elements of an inside job, i.e. the teller in cahoots with the robber. The bank's proximity to the police dept, along with OPPD's patrol emphasis on that part of town just makes this appear too easy. I'll wait to hear more facts, but I'm sure the FBI is already looking at that angle, if only to rule it out. OP Guy, if you think banks do "scummy" things, the blame goes to Dodd-Frank. Enough of the populist hogwash, please.

OP Guy  

Posted: September 13th, 2011 1:22 PM

NQ, yeah but where was OP police when this was going down? Obviously not close enough. Considering the banks location, I'm surprised they don't have better security measures, like a silent alarm that's triggered by the tellers foot. Seriously, this is kind of rediculous. And those images aren't going to help anyone. How many AA in Austin walk around with gold chains, have short hair, and own a black t-shirt? LOL. Considering the scummy things banks are doing to people, no synmpathy from me!


Posted: September 13th, 2011 1:21 PM

Guts? I think it's more likely lack of brains.


Posted: September 13th, 2011 1:16 PM

wow, this guy has some guts, OP police is like a stone throws away.

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2019

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2019 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Classified Ad

Latest Comments