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Man charged with trying to rob Harwood Heights bank

Surveillance photo of the suspect who tried to rob a Harwood Heights bank Tuesday. | FBI

A 27-year-old man has been charged with trying to rob a bank Tuesday afternoon in northwest suburban Harwood Heights.

Andrew Johnston entered the Byline Bank branch at 4660 Harlem Ave. at 4:42 p.m. with a black mask over his face, wearing a black hoodie, a black hat that said “Security” and black gloves, according to a complaint filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court.

He had a phone to his face and approached the teller counter and said words to the effect of, “Don’t press any buttons, get closer, put your hands up, this is a robbery,” according to the complaint.

The teller said she was scared and put her hands up, according to the complaint. Johnston said his family had been kidnapped and his brother had gambling problems.

The teller glanced at the drive-up window and saw a customer holding up his phone and motioning whether or not he should call the police, according to the complaint. The teller nodded yes, and Johnston appeared to notice the customer and left the bank without any cash.

The customer at the drive-up window saw Johnston get in a car, which he described to police, according to the complaint. A description of the car was broadcast over the Harwood Heights police radio and an officer spotted the car.

The officer pulled over the car, and Johnston was brought to the bank, where he was identified as the robber, according to the complaint.

The clothing Johnston wore during the robbery was found in the car, which belonged to his girlfriend, according to the complaint.

Johnston, of Forest Park, was ordered detained at his initial appearance in federal court Wednesday, according to FBI spokesman Garrett Croon.