RF investigators arrest man for bank and gas station robberies

DNA evidence used to identify suspect

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By Maria Maxham

Staff Reporter

On Sept. 16, River Forest police investigators arrested David Divizio, a 49-year-old Chicago man, after days of surveillance in Chicago. On Sept. 18, River Forest Police Chief James O'Shea released a statement announcing the arrest and detailing Divizio's history of crime in the village.

Divizio was responsible for three robberies in River Forest. In addition, he has a history of bank robberies, for which he previously served seven years in federal custody, and, since his latest arrest, is also being charged by Elmwood Park and the FBI for crimes.

Divizio's crimes in River Forest began on Jan. 22, 2020, when he robbed Byline Bank, 7551 Lake St. He approached a teller with a sign that said, "I have a gun, give me 100s, 50s, and 20s." The teller gave him money and he left the bank, fleeing on a moped.

Village of River Forest street cameras determined his direction of travel, and officers retrieved numerous items he discarded along the way. These items were turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for DNA analysis, which identified Divizio as the offender.

On June 21, 2020, Divizio struck again. River Forest officers were called to the Circle K gas station, 7201 North Ave., for a robbery. They were told by a clerk that a man had entered the store and asked where he could find lighter fluid. He got a container, brought it to the counter, and began spraying it on the counter. He said he would ignite the store on fire if the clerk didn't give him money. She complied, and Divizio fled, dropping items on the way which were recovered by officers and sent to the Illinois State Police Forensic Science Center in Chicago for analysis. Video surveillance showed the offender had the same tattoos as Divizio.

A few months later, on Sept. 5, 2020, River Forest officers were called to Fifth Third Bank, 7727 Lake St., for a bank robbery that had just occurred. The offender, who was later identified as Divizio, approached the teller with a note that said, "I have a gun, give me money." Street cameras showed him leaving the area in a Blue Cab, and investigators obtained a cell phone number for the call placed to the cab company. Surveillance video inside the cab allowed officers to determine Divizio was the offender.

Using evidence and information from all three of these incidents, River Forest investigators worked with the FBI to obtain an arrest warrant. They identified several locations frequented by Divizio and conduced several days of surveillance before arresting him on the 6300 block of North Avenue.

During an interview by River Forest investigators, Divizio provided a statement in which he admitted to committing the three River Forest robberies. He was charged with attempted aggravated arson (a class 1 felony) and robbery (a class 2 felony).

Divizio was also interviewed by the FBI, Elmwood Park Police Department, Chicago Police Department and the Oak Park Police Department. The Elmwood Park PD also charged Divizio with multiple robberies, and the FBI and Chicago PD plan to file charges as well.

Divizio is in custody at Cook County Jail on $40,000 and $30,000 bonds.

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