UPDATED: Wearing Nun Masks, Armed Robbers Hold Up Palos Heights Bank

The TCF Bank branch in Palos Heights was robbed Sunday, according to the FBI, in a style reminiscent of the movie "The Town."

Wearing nun masks and habits, armed bank robbers staged a brazen Sunday afternoon bank robbery in Palos Heights in a scene reminiscent of a recent Hollywood movie. Forcing a bank employee into the vault with a pistol aimed at her head, the robbers made off with a duffel bag full of cash.

The "takeover-style" robbery took place at about 2 p.m. Sunday at TCF Bank, 6410 West 127th St. in Palos Heights, according to the FBI.

Brandishing what appeared to be handguns, the suspects held up the bank wearing nun masks and habits similar to the ones used by bank robbers in the movie The Town, according to a spokesman for the FBI's Chicago office.

The employees were ordered to the bank's vault where they were told to fill a duffel bag with cash, according to police.

The robbers drove away in a silver, four-door Chevrolet, according to police. The car was seen fleeing north on Ridgeland Avenue, police said.

No one was injured in the robbery, said Palos Heights police Detective Gerard Wodka.

Two suspects were caught by security cameras. Palos Heights police provided a physical description:

  • A light complexioned black man, about 5 feet, 7 inches tall, wearing black-and-white gym shoes, black-colored gloves and armed with a revolver. 
  • A light complexioned black woman, about 5 feet, 5 inches tall, wearing black boots, white gloves and armed with a semi-automatic pistol.

In security camera images provided by the FBI, one of the robbers can be seen holding what appears to be a gun to the head of a female bank employee.

The entire robbery lasted under three minutes and occurred several minutes before the bank closed at 2 p.m., Wodka said. There were two employees and no security guards working at the time. No customers were present, Wodka said.

The investigation is ongoing and both the Palos Heights Police Department and the Chicago office of the FBI are investigating.

Investigators are urging anyone with information to contact the Palos Heights Police Department at 708-448-5060, or the Chicago FBI office at 312-421-6700.

UPDATED 5/31 9:26 a.m. with additional details.

UPDATED May 31, 2:54 p.m. Police clarified descriptions of the suspects.

Read More: Nun-Mask Robbery Marks Fifth Hold Up In 5 Years for TCF Bank

hickoryhillschic May 31, 2011 at 05:13 AM
it's obvious they were not black the wrists look of a lighter color lol
Dan Lambert (Editor) May 31, 2011 at 08:10 PM
Hi, thanks for the comment. Police say the description comes from the FBI and the eyewitnesses.
bobby June 01, 2011 at 01:02 PM
A movie that inspired crime? I've had it wrong all along. I thought crime inspired the movie. That at least explains my drunken wizardry, too much "Harry Potter" and "The Hangover."
Dan Lambert (Editor) June 01, 2011 at 02:13 PM
Hi Bobby, Thanks for commenting. Of course we cannot say that the robbers were inspired by the movie. The only connection the article does makes is that it appears the costumes worn by the robbers bear a similarity to those worn in the movie.
hime June 01, 2011 at 02:43 PM
since when were banks open on sunday?
Tyler June 01, 2011 at 03:03 PM
The robbers must of staked this bank out to know they were open on Sunday unless thats a Northern thing. I never knew of a bank to be open on Sunday, and its obvious that the robber in the vault is not black by his wrist, he is whiter than I am
Azara June 01, 2011 at 03:19 PM
The last picture showing the banks sign says it's open "7days" so yes this bank is open on sundays.
LoneOne June 01, 2011 at 03:26 PM
Movies do inspire different individuals,, look at all the crimes that copycat movies and visa versa,,
charles sadler June 01, 2011 at 03:27 PM
of course they white just look at their faces!
Jose Nable June 01, 2011 at 05:02 PM
I remember when banks always had security guards around. At least while they were open. But over the years, I started seeing less and less. Now it is very rare for me to see one. Sad to say, reliance on new monitoring technologies and cost cutting to improve the bottom line is greatly affecting the bank employees' safety.
no name June 01, 2011 at 05:05 PM
Hey Lambert its just easier for u to say they were black and not white huh in the article it says and I qoute "Two suspects were caught by security cameras. Palos Heights police provided a physical description:" the description is give by police not witnesses
kia June 01, 2011 at 05:06 PM
does it really matter?... why does everything have to go back to that... and yes, I'm black. Im just saying...is it realllly that important what color they were? dude held a gun to the ladies head. i dont care if u white, black, blue, green, or purple... thats just wrong
Jayson Pickles June 01, 2011 at 05:37 PM
just look at the picture closely they r white! whoever saids their black needs their eyes checked seriously, 2 white ppl robbin a bank face it
ANTHONY June 01, 2011 at 05:37 PM
Pablo June 01, 2011 at 05:50 PM
These guys were not "black:, you look at there wrists; they are deffinetly white. The person that gave the assumption that they were even black is racist. That is a pscological mind set that only blacks create crime. Race is not real, but it does exicst because stupid, ignorant idiots like the "wittness" make that so.
Jesse Marx June 01, 2011 at 06:39 PM
Terry, please look up non sequitur in the dictionary. Thanks.
Dan Lambert (Editor) June 01, 2011 at 07:01 PM
That is correct, the description was provided to me by police. However, the police were relaying information to me that was provided by the two witnesses. Relying solely on the somewhat low resolution images provided might not be the best idea. The reason the physical descriptions are listed is because the two suspects are still at large and the information might assist in finding them. Beyond that, the specific hue of their skin is a dead-end street for discussion.
gal pal June 01, 2011 at 07:15 PM
Maybe they were hillbillys maybe they were from the south I don't think they are racist. Don't call someone that had a gun pointed at their head a racist because I'm sure they want the right person caught no matter who.
Lorraine Swanson (Editor) June 01, 2011 at 07:16 PM
I'm going to chime in for my Palos Patch colleague. The descriptions for the bank robbers were provided to Dan by the Palos police and the Chicago Bureau of the FBI (bandittracker.com). Surveillance photos are traditionally not of the highest quality. In instances like this one, physical descriptions are made public to help law enforcement agencies catch the bad guys. No one is knocking one race. In Oak Lawn, a white guy was said to have robbed a 7-Eleven store. Oak Lawn Patch ran the bandit's physical description to inform the public and business owners to remain on guard, and if possible, to reach anyone who might recognize the guy and help the police catch him. No one is saying that all white people rob stores, just as no one is saying that all black people rob banks.
gal pal June 01, 2011 at 07:29 PM
When did everyone lose focus on who the real victims are. That's disturbing that people doing their job working for money are idiots and criminals are getting the thumbs up good job. I hope these two girls are able to get sleep and recover after fear for their lives.
Noel June 01, 2011 at 07:39 PM
I agree with Pablo, if you look closely the wrists aren't black at all, why would someone even say they were black? Are they embarrased of a white man commiting a crime? I hate how everyone points fingers at the minorities. Oh and Lambert about the relying solely on the somewhat low resolution images, if you cant see that the two peoples wrist color are not black and are most definitely white then your probably color blind, no offence but thats just my opinion, im surprised they didn't say hispanic or latino, but I guess everyone thinks hispanics and latinos don't speak english. Well guess what they do. That part was for the racist people... Reply
Nkal June 01, 2011 at 08:39 PM
After looking at the low resolution photographs, it is obvious for me, an 80 year old man with cataracts, that the wrists of the bank robbers very closely matches that of someone who is not black.
billy June 01, 2011 at 09:16 PM
or this could be a inside job just a thought who would know the time better
Tyler June 01, 2011 at 09:22 PM
I agree, the pics might not be the best quality but its easy to see they are white
Jeanne Kimble June 01, 2011 at 09:53 PM
It's pretty easy to jump to conclusions re: race or color of alleged suspect........but KNOW THIS: There are many black persons who have skin color and hair exactly like whites! I'm wondering if the witness, whether police or civilian,based their conclusion on voices, accents etc.
Jay R. June 01, 2011 at 10:11 PM
Movie or not, these criminals were going to rob the bank regardless..... The article also does not mention how many robbers there were in total, besides these kinds of crimes normally have other participants waiting outside. No robber of this caliber goes into a bank with all they're ammo unless it is an inside job. The color of skin is only used to narrow down suspects....Not to imply or suggest that one race is more willing to commit a crime over the other. In fact I wouldn't be surprise if this ring of criminals is a multicultural group....
E.R. June 01, 2011 at 11:33 PM
Did you people not read where it said the suspects were wearing white gloves? I'm assuming the bank tellers provided a majority of the description to the FBI and police since they were the only ones who actually had contact. This isn't about race. It's you people who try to turn everything into a racial debate that look like fools when they are obviously just trying to narrow down suspects and keep people forewarned.
KaylenM June 06, 2011 at 06:17 AM
This news sounds very alarming. This also proves that films greatly influence people that even robbers copy their stealth from these. Two armed burglars dressed as nuns jumped a teller countertop in an Ill. financial institution last Sunday. The thieves ran away with an undisclosed amount of cash. The burglary closely echoed a scene in last year's critically commended film, "The Town," with Ben Affleck. If Affleck is not cautious, he may end up paying <a title="We’ll help you find any kind of payday loan you want" href="http://personalmoneystore.com/personal-loans/">personal loans</a> for a suit.


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