A Des Plaines man was charged with robbing a bank Thursday afternoon in the northwest suburb after local police recognized him.
Timothy Chitwood, 52, was charged with bank robbery for holding up the U.S. Bank branch at 1223 E. Oakton St. in Des Plaines, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday in U.S. District Court.
About 10:45 a.m. Thursday, a Des Plaines police officer saw a man panhandling in traffic on Oakton Street near Lee Street, according to the complaint. The officer approached the man, who showed him an ID identifying himself as Timothy Chitwood, and the officer told him to leave the area.
About two hours later, the U.S. Bank branch was robbed, according to the complaint. The robber approached the teller window at 12:48 p.m. and presented a yellow Post-It note demanding money. He had a white bag and said in a low voice, “Just put the money in the bag.”
The teller complied and handed the robber $1,106 in cash, according to the complaint. The suspect then ran away with the money and the note.
The bank manager called 911 and provided a description of the robber, which went out over police radios, according to the complaint.
The officer who had previously encountered Chitwood heard the alert and recognized the description, according to the complaint. He broadcast over the radio that he believed the robber was Chitwood.
About 1 p.m., an officer saw a man matching the description of the robber at Rearview Avenue and White Street, according to the complaint. He arrested the man, who was identified as Chitwood.
The white bag used in the robbery was found in a backyard nearby, and had the cash and the note inside, as well as a pair of sunglasses matching the ones the robber was wearing, two hats and and two sandwiches.
The teller also identified Chitwood as the bank robber, according to the complaint.
Chitwood confessed to robbing the bank, saying he came up with the idea earlier in the day, according to the complaint. He had been having money difficulties and was “tired of being broke,” so he robbed the bank in the hopes of obtaining money for a down payment on a house.
Chitwood, of Des Plaines, had his initial appearance Friday in front of U.S. District Judge Jeffrey T. Gilbert.