Loop bank robber caught

12/05/2012 10:00 PM

Mike Ulreich

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A man Chicago police captured Friday, Nov. 30 at 42 W. Adams St. has been identified by the FBI as the Stringer Bell Bandit, suspected of involvement in as many as six bank robberies in downtown Chicago.

Police from the department’s 1st District apprehended Kenneth Anderson, 46, of the 100 block of South Ashland Avenue, on West Adams Street at 11:50 a.m. Nov. 30. According to the FBI, Anderson was taken into custody on Friday by CPD bicycle patrol officers after they were tipped off by alert bank employees.

Police said they found a note demanding money in Anderson’s front left pocket when he was arrested.

According to the FBI, Anderson had been dubbed the “Stringer Bell Bandit” for his resemblance to a character on the television series The Wire. Anderson also gave an address of 8151 South Winchester in Chicago, according to the FBI.

Anderson was arrested without incident by CPD’s Area Central Bike Patrol Unit, and was later turned over to members of the FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force. He was subsequently charged in United States District Court with one count of bank robbery, a felony offense.

The charge filed against Anderson was in connection with the Nov. 2 robbery of a Fifth Third Bank branch located at 1 S. Dearborn. Although not charged, Anderson is also suspected of being the individual responsible for a number of robberies of other downtown area bank branches dating back to early October, including the robbery of the Bank of America branch at 105 W. Madison St. on Oct. 1; Citibank, 69 W. Washington St. on Oct. 17; PNC Bank, 55 W. Monroe on Oct. 28; Citibank, 11 S. LaSalle St. on Nov. 8; and Harris Bank, 99 W. Washington St., on Nov. 16.

According to the FBI, Anderson allegedly entered the Fifth Third Bank on Nov. 2 and presented a note to a teller. After also making verbal demands of the teller, the robber was given money and left the bank. On Friday, the suspect, later identified as Anderson, returned to the same bank, where bank employees recognized him as the person who had committed the prior robbery and alerted law enforcement. Anderson was encountered within a few blocks of the bank by the bike patrol officers, taken into custody, and subsequently transferred to federal custody.

If convicted of the charges filed against him, the FBI said Anderson faces a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

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