Despite robbing at least seven Chicago area banks, the Interstate Bandit's trail does not start with a bank robbery.
FBI agents say it started when two Chicago area women had their purses stolen in late January. They believe the woman who stole those purses is the Interstate Bandit, who used the victims' stolen bank IDs and documents to withdraw or attempt to withdraw money from those accounts.
Investigators say the interstate bandit used the stolen ids at seven PNC banks in the Chicago area, including branch locations in Countryside and Bolingbrook on February first and third. Later that same week, similar bank robberies were reported in the Milwaukee area. Waukesha police are investigating a case where a victim's vehicle was broken into and her purse, containing ID, bank info etc was taken. A female then withdrew over $22,000 over the next five days using this woman's information.
Despite getting away with tens of thousands of dollars, police say they have some good pictures of the Interstate Bandit's face. Investigators in both the Chicago and Milwaukee areas think this is the same woman. They believe the Interstate Bandit has an accomplice and the pair are driving the interstate system, committing these crimes along the way.
While the Interstate Bandit is not robbing banks in the typical sense, FBI agents say she is, indicating that ultimately the banks are the victims in this case. However, once captured, she could be charged with bank fraud and/or identity theft.
So far agents have received few, if any tips or leads in this case. Chicago FBI special agent Ross Rice says, "Other than the photos we have and the physical description of her that we've gotten from bank employees, we have no idea who she is or who she might be working with." That's why they want you to take a good look at her picture.
Here is what agents say the interstate bandit looks like. She is described as a white female, about 30 years old, 5' 7", and has a thin build
If you see her, call police.
If you have any information about this case, call Chicago FBI at (312) 421-6700