FBI Chicago
Special Agent Janine Wheeler
(312) 829-1199
September 14, 2015

FBI Announces Arrest of Uptown Beach Bandit Suspect

A Chicago woman has been arrested and charged with robbing a bank on the city’s North Side, announced John A. Brown, Acting 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.

Cynthia Wonsey, 45, of the 6000 block of North Winthrop Avenue, was taken into federal custody without incident on September 11, 2015. She was charged in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago with one count of bank robbery. Wonsey appeared Friday afternoon before Magistrate Judge Young B. Kim, and she was ordered held pending her next court appearance on September 15 at 2:30 p.m.

Wonsey was charged in the complaint with robbing the TCF Bank branch located at 3531 North Broadway in Chicago on August 5, 2015. According to the complaint, a robber entered the bank that day just before 1 p.m., approached a bank employee, and made a threatening demand for money. The robber claimed to have a gun, but no weapon was displayed. No physical injuries were reported in connection with this robbery.

Wonsey was identified to law enforcement by several members of the public who recognized her in bank robbery security camera photos posted online.

If convicted of the charge filed against her, Wonsey faces a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

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.

The FBI is investigating two other August robberies in the Uptown neighborhood. The TCF Bank branch located at 5343 North Broadway was robbed on August 14, and the TCF Bank branch located at 4355 North Sheridan Road was robbed on August 22. The Uptown Beach Bandit earned the moniker by wearing a large floppy straw hat and sunglasses during each of the bank robberies.