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Prosecutors: Matteson bank robber dropped cash while fleeing police

Surveillance images of the suspect in an armed, takeover bank robbery Sept. 1 at a First Midwest Bank branch in Matteson. | FBI

A man charged with robbing a bank Friday morning in south suburban Matteson dropped cash in the street while running from police, according to court records.

Cordell T. Daniels, 23, was charged with robbing the First Midwest Bank branch at 4600 West Lincoln Highway in Matteson at gunpoint, according to a criminal complaint filed Saturday in U.S. District Court.

Daniels walked into the bank at 11:05 a.m. wearing a dark-colored jacket, dark pants and white shoes before pulling a ski mask over his face, prosecutors said. He approached the teller counter armed with a black handgun, demanded money then jumped over the counter.

He ordered the teller to put money from the drawer into his bag then demanded more money, according to the complaint. The teller gave him money from another area, and then Daniels took the teller’s keys and tried to open drawers in the drive-up area.

After the teller showed Daniels that one of the other teller drawers was empty, Daniels accidentally dumped the money out of his bag and started to pick it up, according to the complaint. He ordered two tellers to help him pick it up before jumping back over the counter and running out of the bank with about $9,840 in cash.

Witnesses saw a masked man carrying a gun and a black bag run out of the bank and get into a black Nissan Murano parked near a home behind the bank building, according to prosecutors. The SUV sped west on Lincoln Highway as several people took cellphone photos of the vehicle and its license plate.

A Matteson police officer later spotted the vehicle heading north on Cicero Avenue, and police vehicles from several agencies started to pursue it near Pulaski and Vollmer roads, according to the complaint. The SUV hit multiple vehicles on Pulaski before eventually coming to a stop, and the driver was seen throwing something into the back seat before getting out and running.

Daniels was taken into custody after a foot chase, during which he dropped a black latex glove, a ski mask and an unspecified amount of money, prosecutors said. Two handguns were found on the rear floorboard of the vehicle, and the amount of cash recovered from Daniels and the surrounding area matched the amount stolen from the bank.

“The FBI commends the great investigative response by the Matteson and Olympia Fields, [Illinois] Police Departments,” FBI spokesman Garrett H. Croon said in a statement. “The professionalism, bravery and investigation displayed by these two police departments led to the arrest of the bank robbery suspect.”

Daniels, who lives in Richton Park, appeared in federal court Saturday morning and was ordered held pending a detention hearing next week, Croon said.