Home Chicago Press Releases 2014 Charge Filed in Shady Bandit Case

Charge Filed in Shady Bandit Case

FBI Chicago April 04, 2014
  • Special Agent Joan Hyde (312) 829-1199

A woman believed to be the robber who wore a pair of dark sunglasses during a series of robberies at TCF Bank branches on the north side of Chicago is facing a federal charge in connection with one of those robberies. The charge was announced today by Robert J. Holley, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI, and Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

Irene Carrera, 51, of the 8200 block of South Ingleside Avenue in Chicago, was charged in a criminal complaint filed Thursday in U.S. District Court with one count of bank robbery, a felony offense. She is currently being held on an unrelated state charge, and no federal court date has been set.

Although Carrera was charged with only one count, for a February 11, 2014 heist that occurred at the TCF branch located at 4355 North Sheridan Road in Chicago; the complaint includes details of three additional TCF robberies that Carrera allegedly committed. Those robberies occurred on May 21 and November 20, 2013, at 3531 North Broadway, and on March 6, 2014, at 5516 North Clark.

During each robbery, a woman later identified as Carrera approached a bank teller, presented a demand note for money, and made verbal demands for “large bills” or “big bills,” according to the complaint. Bank surveillance video from each robbery showed an individual wearing dark sunglasses, which led to the Shady Bandit moniker, and FBI agents later recovered sunglasses resembling those shown in the videos during a search of Carrera’s apartment.

If convicted of the charge filed against her, Carrera faces a possible maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The public is reminded that a criminal 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.