Hickory Hills bank robbery suspect arrested in Ohio
SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE August 20, 2012 11:36AM
Surveillance photo of suspect who robbed TCF Bank branch in Hickory Hills on July 26. / photo from FBI
Updated: August 20, 2012 11:23PM
A Chicago man arrested Wednesday in Ohio has been charged with robbing a Hickory Hills bank branch in July, the FBI announced Monday.
A witness who found and spent some of the dye-stained money will not be charged, the FBI said.
Jeffrey A. Kaplan, 30, was charged with one count of bank robbery earlier this month and was arrested by the Northwest Ohio Violent Crimes Task Force at a bus station in Toledo, the FBI said.
According to prosecutors, Kaplan approached a teller at the TCF Bank branch at 9357 S. Roberts Road about 2:30 p.m. on July 26. He handed the teller a note stating, “Be quiet, don’t be stupid, don’t turn around, just put all the money in the bag and I won’t shoot you, no dye packs I will check,” the complaint alleged.
Although the robber implied he had a weapon, none was displayed, FBI spokeswoman Joan Hyde said.
The teller placed all of the money in her drawer, and a dye pack, into the bag and handed it to Kaplan, who then left the bank, the complaint said. A witness saw Kaplan throw something to the ground before getting into the passenger side of a van that then drove away, the complaint said. The witness noticed smoke coming from where Kaplan was last seen and found a black bag filled with money stained with red dye.
The witness who recovered the money admitted to spending $20 of the $2,077 in dye-stained cash at a grocery store before calling police, the complaint said. The grocery manager later recovered the stained $20 bill.
Kaplan was identified as the robber by several people who contacted the FBI after seeing surveillance photos published online and on TV news broadcasts, the complaint said. Six of 12 callers who contacted the FBI said they were relatives or friends of Kaplan, including a former employer.
During an investigation, it was discovered Kaplan was traveling by bus from Chicago to New York. The trip included a stop in Toledo, where he was arrested.
If convicted, Kaplan faces up to 20 years in prison.
Kaplan also is considered a suspect in three Chicago bank robberies: a TCF Bank branch at 2538 W. 47th St. on July 30; the Metropolitan Bank branch at 4050 S. Archer Ave. on Aug. 6; and the Citibank branch at 2295 N. Milwaukee Ave. on Aug. 10, according to the FBI. He had not been charged with any of those robberies as of Monday morning.