Off-duty cop's 911 call helps nab suspect in 5 bank robberies
Surveillance photos of a suspect in at least three recent bank robberies. (FBI / May 26, 2012)
Charlie Montalvo, 36, of the 4200 block of Edgewater in Hillside, is charged in the robbery of $3,480 from a FirstMerit Bank branch, 7227 W. Addison St. in Chicago, Wednesday morning, and after his arrest admitted to robbing four other banks and trying to rob another one as long ago as last August, according to an FBI affidavit.
Montalvo told FBI agents he robbed the banks to feed his gambling habit.
A man wearing a plaid shirt and a White Sox hat walked into the FirstMerit Bank Wednesday morning, handed a teller several deposit slips, then pointed a black handgun at the teller and said “give me your money,” according to the FBI.
The robber jumped over the counter and took money from another drawer, then robbed a second teller.
The cash in each of the drawers the robber grabbed money from included a dye pack.
When the robber jumped back over the counter, he tripped and cut his right shin, then fled, one of the tellers told the FBI.
As the robbery was going on, an off-duty Chicago Police lieutenant was waiting in a drive-through lane and saw the man reaching into a teller’s drawer.
The lieutenant then called 911 and described the robber to a call taker, according to the affidavit.
The description the lieutenant gave was broadcast over police radio, and a “law enforcement agent” who knew that Montalvo was suspected in earlier robberies heard the broadcast.
The agent was driving near Grand Avenue and Avers Street and saw a silver Honda registered to Montalvo that was believed to have been used in other robberies Moltalvo was suspected of committing.
The agent followed the Honda into a nearby alley, where it stopped behind a home, and Montalvo got out, according to the FBI.
The agent announced who he was and drew his gun, but Montalvo ran away and was arrested soon after behind a building in the 1200 block of North Springfield Avenue.
“The gun is fake,” Montalvo told the officers arresting him, according to the FBI. “It’s in the garage with the money.”
In the garage, officers found cash stained red, a plaid shirt and a BB handgun.
According to the FBI, when questioned Montalvo admitted to robbing: the FirstMerit Bank; a Charter One Bank, 7312 W. Grand Ave., on Jan. 31; a Fifth-Third Bank, 7112 W. Cermak Road, Berwyn, on March 27; a PNC Bank, 3940 N. Harlem Ave., on May 22; and a TCF Bank, 6430 W. Irving Park Road, on May 26.
He also told agents he tried to rob a TCF Bank, 9343 W. Irving Park Road, on Aug. 2, 2011, the FBI said.
Montalvo made an initial court appearance before U. S. Magistrate Judge Sheila Finnegan today, and is being held without bail until his next court date, June 7 at 12:45 p.m.