Three Arrested Following Calumet City Bank Robbery and High-Speed Chase
FBI Chicago Division
May 20, 2009
Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was joined today by Edward L. Gilmore, Chief of the Calumet City, Illinois Police Department (CCPD) in announcing the arrest of three Chicago area men in connection with the armed robbery yesterday afternoon of the Citibank branch, located at 1779 River Oaks Drive in the south suburb.
The three men, identified as LEANDRE EARL, age 30, of 13626 South Lowe in Chicago; HARVEL C. HARRIS, age 19, of 7352 South Woodlawn in Chicago; and ANTONIO D. PICKENS, age 19, of 725 West 138th Street in Riverdale were arrested yesterday by Officers of the CCPD, assisted by Troopers from the Illinois State Police and officers from the Chicago Police Department and several neighboring communities, following a high-speed chase and shoot-out, that ended when the robbers crashed their car on the northbound lanes of the Bishop Ford Expressway near the 130th Street exit.
All three men were charged in a criminal complaint filed earlier today in U.S. District Court in Chicago with one (1) count of Aggravated Bank Robbery, which is a felony offense. According to the complaint, two of the men entered the bank shortly after 2:00 PM, brandishing handguns and orally announcing a robbery. One of the robbers stood guard over bank employees and customers in the lobby while the second robber jumped the teller counter and began placing cash from numerous teller drawers into a red and white plastic bag that he had brought with him into the bank. After obtaining in excess of $23,000, the two men fled the bank in a waiting vehicle and departed the area at a high rate of speed. No injuries were reported during the robbery.
Responding officers from the CCPD were given a description of the robbers and the get-away vehicle, including a partial license plate number, from a bank security guard. This vehicle was spotted a short distance away, entering the northbound lanes of the Bishop Ford Expressway at 159th Street. CCPD Officers gave chase, but the vehicle refused to stop. The chase ended as the vehicle was approaching 130th Street, when it crashed into the center guard rail and spun around. After stopping, the vehicle’s occupants exchanged gunfire with CCPD Officers, resulting in the wounding of one of the robbers and a CCPD Officer.
One of the robbers was arrested at the scene, trapped inside the crashed vehicle. The other two robbers fled the area on foot but were apprehended a short time later, following an extensive manhunt by State and Local law enforcement officers.
Subsequent investigation by the FBI and CCPD developed additional evidence, linking the three men to the robbery and leading to the filing of the criminal charges announced today.
In announcing these arrests, Mr. Grant praised the Officers of Calumet City Police Department for their prompt response to an emergency service call, which led to the quick apprehension of three armed and dangerous robbery suspects. Said Mr. Grant “The dedication and valor displayed yesterday by the men and women of the Calumet City Police Department is typical of the efforts displayed daily by our law enforcement partners nationwide. The citizens of Calumet City should be proud to have officers of such remarkable character serving their community.”
All three defendants appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys in Chicago, earlier this morning, at which time they were formally charged. The three men were all ordered held without bond, pending their next scheduled court appearance, and will be housed at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Chicago. All three men face a possible sentence of up 25 years to life incarceration if convicted of the charges filed against them.
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.
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