Serial Chicago bank robber gets 108 months in prison for string of heists

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Surveillance photos of the suspect who robbed a PNC Bank branch at 877 N. Rush St. on June 1. | FBI photos

A serial bank robber was sentenced Wednesday to 108 months in prison for a string of heists two years ago, including one in the Gold Coast neighborhood on the Near North Side.

William Rostin, 50, was found guilty of three bank robberies in May and June of 2016, according to the FBI.

At 4:44 p.m. on June 1, 2016, Rostin entered the PNC Bank branch at 877 N. Rush St., approached the teller counter and requested a withdrawal slip, according to a federal complaint. He was sweating and appeared nervous.

The teller gave Rostin a slip and he wrote on it with a black pen, then showed the teller the slip which said something to the effect of, “This is a robbery, give me 10 thousand dollars,” according to the complaint. He folded up the slip and put it in his pocket.

The teller complied and opened the top drawer, but Rostin told her he wanted cash from the second drawer, according to the complaint. The teller gave Rostin the cash and he said, “I am so sorry I have to do this, I am so sorry.”

Rostin folded the cash in half and walked southbound on Rush Street, according to the complaint. He got away with $6,101.

A Chicago Police officer used the surveillance footage of the suspect and put it in a facial recognition database, which returned a result for Rostin, according to the complaint. The teller and bank manager were shown a photo lineup and identified Rostin as the robber.

Rostin was also found guilty of robbing a Fifth Third Bank branch at 29 W. Division on June 9, 2016, and a BMO Harris bank branch in Hammond, Indiana, according to the FBI.

Rostin was previously arrested for a bank robbery on July 11, 2011 at the First Financial Bank at 9632 Cline Ave. in Highland, Indiana, and was convicted, according to the complaint. He was on federal supervised release for that robbery at the time of his arrest. His probation officer also identified in him in the surveillance footage of the PNC Bank robbery.

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