Merrillville bank robber quickly caught
By Michael Gonzalez Post-Tribune correspondent June 6, 2014 11:52AM
Eric Ransom, owner of Ransom's Barber Shop, said he heard and knew nothing of an earlier robbery at the neighboring Chase Bank. "I've never known anyone to rob a bank back here," he said. | Michael Gonzalez~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 8, 2014 6:09AM
MERRILLVILLE — Police arrested a downstate man Friday morning, minutes after he robbed a Chase Bank branch, according to police.
They said the 53-year-old resident of Bunker Hill, which is near Kokomo, robbed the bank, 7925 Taft St., at 9:45 a.m., handing a teller a note demanding money in $5 and $10 bills and fled to the neighboring People’s Bank, where he was apprehended in the parking lot.
Police Cmdr. Jeff Rice declined to name the suspect, referring questions to the Lake County prosecutor’s office, but said the man admitted holding up the bank. A spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office said charges will not likely be filed until Monday.
“When officers arrived, (the man) said, ‘I’m the one you’re looking for. I robbed the bank,’” Rice said. “We were in the area, and he didn’t have a vehicle we were aware of. When (he) saw the officers, he knew the gig was up, so he gave up.”
Rice declined to say how much money the suspect took in the robbery but said no one was hurt during it. He said records show the man is on probation from a prior conviction, but he did not elaborate.
Kathy Kouklakis, manager of the Vision Quest Eye Clinic near the Chase branch, said she did not hear police vehicles or any other commotion in the area.
Eric Ransom, owner of a nearby barber shop, said the incident left him nervous.
“It makes me a little more concerned to hear about a bank robbery,” he said. “I’m from the South Side of Chicago, and I really thought it was safer here.”
Contributing: Carrie Napoleon