UPDATE: Police and FBI Continue Ceiling Search for Bank Robbery Suspect - LAST UPDATE
Police believe bank robbery suspect is still in the building.
Update 12:20 a.m.
Here is our last update on Saturday's bank robbery. More than 60 law enforcement officers, including Oak Lawn Police, the South Suburban Emergency Response Team, FBI and Cook County Sheriff's Police remain at the Bank of America shopping center as of midnight.
Oak Lawn Division Chief Mike Kaufmann said police still believe the bank robbery suspect, described as a male black in his 20s, is holed up in the ceiling. There is no further information.
If there is an update later this morning, Kaufmann said that a press release will be sent out today.
Our last image of the evening is of an FBI SWAT team member suiting up at 111th Street and Keeler Avenue, walking west down 111th Street toward Pulaski Road carrying his high power rifle.
Patch will update this story on Sunday.
Update 11:22 p.m.
Police are pulling down ceilings inside of the second floor of the shopping center. FBI are processing the crime scene at Bank of America, Oak Lawn Division Chief Mike Kaufmann told us.
It's a very methodical process because the suspect has a gun. Cook County Sheriff's Police are relieving the search teams.
If the suspected bank robber can't be found tonight, it gets turned over to the FBI.
Update 9:49 p.m.
We moved over to Huck Finn temporarily to recharge our batteries. Oak Lawn Division Chief Mike Kaufmann said that relief teams are being brought in to continue the search for the bank robbery suspect, who is believed to be holed up in the ceiling over Quigley's Irish Pub.
Police are using a public address system to coax the suspect out of the building, telling him he won't be harmed, Kaufmann said.
Cook County Sheriff's Police are on the way with equipment to aid in the ceiling search. Kaufmann said that a firewall separates the Bank of America ceiling system from the rest of the shopping center.
Kaufmann also said that police found a broken window in an office and trail of blood in different parts of the second floor of the shopping center.
The structure of the ceiling makes it especially difficult for officers to search for the suspect. There are dropped ceilings, narrow ducts and a section of trussing that make for overheated conditions.
Pepper spray is being considered to gas the suspect out, if he is indeed still in the ceiling.
Earlier, 9:15 p.m. A male black in his 20s is said to have robbed the Bank of America at 111th Street and Pulaski Road.
Oak Lawn Division Chief Michael Kaufmann said the suspected robber cut a hole in the roof and entered bank around 2:14 p.m. Saturday after the bank had closed at 1 p.m. Two bank employees were handcuffed with zip ties.
About 60 police officers, including Oak Lawn police and the South Suburban Emergency response team, as well as the FBI have been on the scene for seven hours as they continue searching for the bank robbery suspect in the ceiling. They believe he’s in the middle building of the shopping center where the bank is located.
Oak Lawn Division Chief Michael Kaufmann said that blood was found in the duct work as well as a stash of money. Police and FBI were removing tiles and using robotic cameras and other robotic visual devices searching for the suspected robber.
Kaufmann said that they believe the bank robbery suspect is still in the building. Kaufmann said there was no immediate danger to the community and residents need not be worried that a gunman is on the loose.
Oak Lawn Dave Heilmann was also on the scene.
“The response was so fast that the criminal couldn’t get away. That’s what you want to see happen,” Heilmann said. “You hate to see something like this happen in your community but it’s good to know that residents can expect a response like this. We’re going to catch the guy.”