Chicago, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), was joined today by Paul J. Kaupas, Will County Sheriff, in announcing the arrest of a Manteno, Illinois man for the armed robbery yesterday of the Palos Bank and Trust branch, located at 15801 South Bell Road in Homer Glen.
BRIAN J. ELLIS, age 40, whose last known address was 327 Lynn Street in Manteno, was arrested yesterday evening by an off-duty Evergreen Park, Illinois Police Officer and Deputies from the Will County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO), following a foot chase and brief struggle. ELLIS was charged in a criminal complaint filed earlier today in U.S. District Court in Chicago with one count of bank robbery, which is a felony offense.
According to the complaint, ELLIS entered the Palos Bank and Trust branch shortly before 5:00 p.m., approached a teller, and handed her a note announcing a robbery and demanding money. This was followed by a verbal demand and a threat of physical harm if his demands were not met. ELLIS claimed to be armed with a handgun, although no weapon was displayed and no injuries were reported during the robbery.
After receiving over $7,000.00 in cash, ELLIS fled the bank on foot. An off-duty Evergreen Park Police Officer, working in the bank as a security guard, noticed the teller appeared upset after ELLIS left her window. When he inquired what was wrong, the teller said she had just been robbed. The officer gave chase and eventually caught up with ELLIS several blocks from the bank. After a brief struggle, ELLIS was handcuffed and turned over to WCSO Officers who responded to a robbery alarm.
Subsequent investigation by the Chicago FBI and Detectives from the WCSO developed additional evidence linking ELLIS to the robbery and the filing of the charges announced today.
Though not charged, ELLIS is also a suspect in the December 11, 2009 robbery of the MB Financial Bank branch in Oak Brook, Illinois and the December 22, 2009 robbery of the US Bank branch in Hinsdale, Illinois.
ELLIS appeared before Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole in Chicago earlier today, at which time he was formally charged. ELLIS was ordered held without bond, pending his next court appearance, and will be housed at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Chicago. If convicted of the charge filed against him, ELLIS faces a possible sentence of up to twenty (20) years’ incarceration.
Additional information about this and other recent Chicago area bank robberies, including downloadable photographs, is available at the Bandit Tracker website, www.bandittrackerchicago.com.
The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt and that all defendants in a criminal case are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.