Dropped Like a Bad Habit: Cops Say They've Caught One of the Nun-Masked Bank Bandits
The FBI accused a Chicago woman of robbing the TCF Bank branch in Palos Heights. Police say the evidence stacked up quickly.
Navahcia Edwards, 23, is one half of the nun-masked duo that robbed TCF Bank in Palos Heights on May 29, according to authorities, and now she's in custody.
Two armed robbers wearing nun masks and habits similar to those worn in the film The Town entered the bank at 6410 West 127th St., minutes before closing, forced two employees into the vault and took off with $120,000.
The story captured national attention due to the brazen nature of the robbery and the costumes the bank robbers wore.
Police say Edwards, of the 4000 block of 115th Street in Chicago, was one of those robbers.
Detective Tim Holder of the Palos Heights Police Department said the focus on Edwards began almost immediately.
"The day of the robbery there was a male acting suspiciously with a safety deposit box," Holder said.
Police then discovered the man and his girlfriend, Edwards, closely matched the physical descriptions of the robbers. After looking into Edwards' background it was learned that she was fired from a Chase Bank in Country Club Hills after she was accused of embezzling $20,000, Holder said.
Edwards already has been charged with that crime, the Chicago Tribune reports.
It was also discovered that several days before the May 29 robbery, Edwards had rented a silver 2011 Chevy Impala, the same car captured by surveillance cameras, Holder said.
Police then searched through Edwards' financial documents and discovered she had purchased two nun masks and nun costumes from online vendors, Holder said.
A receipt for zip ties purchased from Ace Hardware in Homewood, which were used to bind the two bank employees, was found among the documents, Holder said.
Throughout the investigation, police were also speaking with an informant close to Edwards who was aware of robbery details not known to the public, Holder said.
Holder says there is circumstantial evidence tying the woman's boyfriend to the crime, however, an arrest has not been made.
Edwards has not made any statements to police, Holder said.
The investigation was a joint effort between the Palos Heights Police Department and the Chicago office of the FBI.
"We are grateful to have come this far," Holder said. "But this is by no means over. Our goal is to arrest the other suspect and get a conviction."
This bank job marked the fifth holdup in five years for the Palos Heights branch.
UPDATED 7:28 p.m.: After her court appearance, Edwards was held without bond pending her next appearance on July 7, according to an FBI news release. If convicted she faces up to 20 years in prison.