A Chicago man was charged with robbing a bank branch Tuesday afternoon in west suburban Elmwood Park after a GPS tracking device hidden in a stack of stolen cash foiled his attempted getaway.
About 3:50 p.m., 28-year-old Jeremiah Lewis walked into the U.S. Bank branch at 7312 W. Grand Ave. and handed a business card to a teller demanding money, according to a criminal complaint provided by the FBI.
“Don’t do anything suspicious,” the card allegedly read. “I have a gun in my right pocket. Give me the money.”
Lewis also demanded $100 bills and ordered the teller to hand over money from a second cash drawer, the FBI said. The teller then handed over cash from both drawers, some of which contained the GPS tracking device. Lewis took the cash, put it in a white bag and took off.
Minutes later, officers tracked Lewis’ location and saw him hop out of a black Toyota before walking toward a fitness center, the FBI said. Officers approached him and recognized his pants and boots from bank surveillance footage. They then noticed a gun, a white bag and clothing that was worn during the robbery inside the Toyota.
Lewis was taken into custody, and officers used a device to confirm that the GPS device was in the Toyota, the FBI said.
After towing the Toyota to the Elmwood Park police station, officers found roughly $3,660 in cash in the bag and determined the gun was actually an airsoft pistol, the FBI said. They also found the business card that Lewis handed to the teller, as well as clothing used in the robbery.
After waiving his Miranda rights, Lewis admitted the Toyota he was driving was his vehicle, but wouldn’t admit or deny that he robbed the bank branch, the FBI said. However, he said he’d “messed things up” before admitting he was unemployed and not earning any money.
Lewis remains held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, the FBI said. Information about his next scheduled court date wasn’t immediately made available.