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NW Indiana woman charged with robbing Batavia bank

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A northwest Indiana woman has been charged with robbing a bank Tuesday afternoon in west suburban Batavia.

Melissa Fitzgerald, 26, faces one federal count of bank robbery, according to FBI spokesman Garrett Croon and a complaint filed Thursday in U.S. District Court.

About 2 p.m. Tuesday, Fitzgerald entered the Old Second Bank, 1991 W. Wilson St. in Batavia, and approached the teller counter with a demand note, according to the complaint. Fitzgerald was described as a white woman wearing eyeglasses, a hat with shiny flecks and a checked coat.

The handwritten demand note had four lines written on it that said, “All the money,” “100, 20, 50, and 10” with stacks underneath each number, “Don’t get hurt” and “NO ink on money!!!”

Fitzgerald slid the demand note over to the teller, who realized it was a robbery and became frightened, according to the complaint. The wording in the note confused her and she asked the bank robber what she meant by “stacks.”

Fitzgerald looked at the teller and said in a stern voice, “Give me the money,” according to the complaint.

The teller started to move away from the counter to the drawer where the money was kept, and Fitzgerald said, “don’t move,” according to the complaint. The teller explained that she had to move in order to get the money and Fitzgerald said “Don’t do anything stupid.”

The teller thought the robber’s Michael Kors purse might contain a gun, according to the complaint.

The teller gave the robber $3,417 in cash, including five $20 bait bills for which the bank kept recorded serial numbers.

Fitzgerald took the money, put it in her purse, left the demand note at the bank and got into a car waiting out front and took off, according to the complaint.

Batavia High School was placed on soft lock down as a precaution, police said.

Officers responded to the bank and saw a vehicle matching the description of the one the robber left in, according to the complaint. The vehicle was driven by a man.

Other law enforcement officers assisted with the chase and found the vehicle in a parking lot of a Menard’s in Yorkville, according to the complaint. The driver and Fitzgerald went into the store, and Fitzgerald bought a new jacket and left.

The coat worn during the bank robbery was later found in the store’s clothing department, according to the complaint. Fitzgerald was also seen putting her purse in a trash can outside the store.

The purse was found in the trash can and contained $3,393 in cash, including the bail bills, according to the complaint.

Fitzgerald, a Portage, Indiana resident, admitted to the robbery, according to the complaint. Fitzgerald was also identified by the teller as the suspect.

Fitzgerald was ordered detained at her initial appearance Thursday morning in federal court, according to Croon.

The getaway driver is not facing any federal charges.