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Man claimed he had bomb to rob River North bank: feds

Surveillance image of the suspect in a Jan. 16 robbery at the Chase Bank branch at 230 W. Grand Ave. | FBI

A man has been charged with robbing a bank last week in the River North neighborhood on the Near North Side.

Major Neal McCoy III was charged with bank robbery by intimidation for the Jan. 16 hold-up at Chase Bank, 230 W. Grand Ave., according to a criminal complaint filed Jan. 17 in U.S. District Court.

McCoy walked in about 12:40 p.m. and showed employees a note claiming he had a bomb and gun, and demanded $20,000 in “big bills,” according to court records.

One teller was not signed into the computer and could not open the drawer, which prompted McCoy to ask what was taking so long and reminded them he had a gun.

Another teller overheard him and handed him money from a different drawer, according to the complaint. The employees told investigators McCoy was “nervous, shaking, and appeared to be under the influence of drugs.”

A customer called 911 after watching the man run out of the bank, shove the money into his pants and get into a taxi, prosecutors said. Chicago police stopped the taxi at 12:45 p.m. near 250 N. Desplaines St. and took McCoy into custody.

Bank employees identified McCoy as the robber, and he later admitted to robbing the bank in an interview with FBI agents, according to the complaint.

Police said the suspect was arrested by Chicago Police Near North District Cmdr. Daniel O’Shea. O’Shea replaced Cmdr. Paul Bauer after Bauer, 53, was fatally shot last February while trying to take a person into custody in the Loop. Two other bank robberies were reported that afternoon on the Near North Side and the Loop.

The FBI said the person responsible for that robbery was also suspected of holding up other Chase Bank branches on Jan. 15 at 1122 N. Clark St. and Jan. 14 at 755 N. Larrabee St., but it was not immediately clear whether McCoy was charged in connection with those heists.

McCoy, 35, remains in custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, according to Federal Bureau of Prisons records.