FBI Chicago
Special Agent Janine Wheeler
(312) 829-1199
December 12, 2014

FBI Seeking Information About Serial Bank Robber

The FBI is requesting assistance from the public in identifying a man believed to be responsible for at least five recent bank robberies on the south side of Chicago. Robert J. Holley, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the FBI, made the request today as he announced that a reward of up to $1,000 is being offered for information that leads to the identification and arrest of the robber.

The robber is shown on the accompanying flyer and has been dubbed the “Play-Along Bandit” because of his practice of trying to blend in and portray himself as a legitimate bank customer as he enters and exits the banks, even greeting security personnel in the banks. The Play-Along Bandit’s most recent heist took place last Saturday at a Harris Bank branch located at 1620 West 95th Street. On that day, the robber approached a bank teller, made a threatening demand for money, and although he did not display a weapon, he implied to the teller that he was armed. This same individual is suspected of carrying out robberies in a similar manner at the following locations, all in Chicago:

  • ABC Bank, 9443 South Ashland, on October 18;
  • Fifth Third Bank, 8140 South Ashland, on October 28;
  • Citi Bank, 2000 West 79th Street, on November 14; and
  • First Merit Bank, 1715 West 47th Street, on November 25.

The Play-Along Bandit is described as a black male, 25 to 30 years old, approximately 5’8” tall. During the robberies, he has worn a variety of jackets, one with a distinct pattern across the chest, and he once wore an orange safety vest. He has consistently worn what appears to be the same black knit skull cap, which has a small brim in the front. He is considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone recognizing the Play-Along Bandit or having any information about the robberies is asked to call the Chicago office of the FBI at (312) 421-6700 or local law enforcement.

Photographs of the Play-Along Bandit and additional information about these robberies can be found at the Chicago Bandit Tracker website, www.bandittrackerchicago.com.