A man dubbed the "Douple Dip Bandit" was nabbed Thursday afternoon by police who found the Rogers Park man erratically riding a bicycle on a West Side sidewalk and noticed he matched the description of a serial bank robber accused of robbing or attempting to rob at least 10 banks in Chicago.
Thomas J. Riley, 45, of Chicago was arrested without incident by Shakespeare District police officers after he was stopped while riding a bike and was found in possession of illegal drugs, according to a release from the Chicago FBI. Riley was in the vicinity of Humboldt Park when he was stopped by patrol officers for suspicious activity.
About 12:35 p.m. Thursday, Shakespeare District tactical officers Kelly Vo and Michael Silius were at 1351 N. Humboldt Dr. when they saw a man riding a bicycle on the sidewalk, Shakespeare District Captain Michelle Anderson said.
They approached him after noticing he fit the alleged robber’s description broadcast earlier Thursday on system-wide police radio, Anderson said.
When the man first saw the officers, he allegedly tried to change his identity by removing his shirt, but later admitted to them he was wanted by the FBI, Anderson said. Further investigation confirmed he was wanted by the FBI, and police believe him to be the suspect known as the “Double Dip Bandit.”
Riley, of 1123 W. North Shore Ave., was charged with possession of a controlled substance and was also cited with a city ordinance violation for riding a bicycle on a sidewalk, according to Shakespeare District police Capt. Marc Buslik.
Riley was charged in a criminal complaint filed earlier this week in U.S. District Court with one count of bank robbery in the March 28 robbery of TCF Bank branch at 6430 W. Irving Park Rd. and was being actively sought by the Chicago FBI's Violent Crimes Task Force when he was arrested, according to an FBI release.
In that robbery, Riley entered the bank and approached a bank teller. He then allegedly placed a plastic shopping bag on the counter and ordered a bank employee to fill it with cash, the release said. In the process, he lifted up a jacket, exposed a black handgun that was stuffed into the waist of his pants. After receiving under $1,000 in cash, Riley fled the bank on food, disappearing out of sight of witnesses.
Riley was eventually identified on July 7, when he robbed a PNC Bank branch at 6333 N. Milwaukee Ave for a second time in less than a week, the release said. During this robbery, Riley was seen entering a vehicle parked nearby, with the license plate to this vehicle clearly visible. Later investigation traced the vehicle to Riley.
Though not charged with any additional robberies at this time, Riley is a suspect in a string of as many as 10 robberies and attempted robberies in Chicago banks, dating to February of this year, the release said. He had been dubbed the "Double Dip Bandit" as he routinely robbed the same bank twice or more.
Riley is scheduled to appear for a bond hearing in Cook County Criminal Court on the controlled substance charge on Friday and will appear in U.S. District Court on the bank robbery charge at a later date, according to FBI spokeswoman Cynthia Yates.
On Tuesday, authorities had announced a $20,000 reward for his arrest.
The "Double Dip Bandit" is also suspected of having robbed the Citibank branch at 2801 W. Devon Ave. on May 11 and June 9; the TCF branch at 6430 W. Irving Park Rd. on Feb. 26, March 28 and April 28; the TCF branch on West Devon Avenue in Park Ridge on March 5 and March 15; the TCF branch at 4734 Cumberland Ave. on April 3; and the First Commercial Bank branch at 7050 N. Western Ave. on June 28.