|Rigoberto Estremera Jr and a surveillance image of the robber. | CPD; FBI|
A 38-year-old Chicago man succeeded in taking $141,000 from a Roscoe Village bank during a take-over robbery on September 18th, according to federal prosecutors. But the FBI had little trouble tracking him down because he left his personalized construction helmet nearby and even spelled his first name for one of the bank tellers, a federal complaint says.
You may remember the robbery story: A man who was seen praying on a Roscoe Village restaurant patio around 8:30 a.m. robbed the Chase Bank at 3531 North Western Avenue minutes later and reportedly told a clerk to “Tell the police Rico did it!”
Now, a ten-page federal complaint lays out the details of what the FBI says Chicago construction worker Rigoberto Estremera, Jr did that morning:
Shortly before 9 a.m., Estremera entered the Chase Bank and asked an employee about opening a savings account, the complaint says. He then handed over a note: “This is a stick-up. Please place $250,000 in my bag and walk it over to me. If I don’t make it out the doors, my family will proceed with yours.”
The robber also handed over a business card from a firearm manufacturing company in an apparent attempt to scare her, the FBI said.
When the teller returned with $10,000 in the bag, Estremera went through the bag and said, “That is not what the f*cking note said. Give what I asked for or we’ll have a f*cking problem. $250,000.”
After giving Estremera an additional $20,000, a teller was ordered to “go into the vault.”
“Everyone in this bank is hostage now,” Estremera allegedly said. But, when a customer said she felt uncomfortable, he let her go. When she looked back, Estremera reportedly made hand gestures of a telephone followed by him slitting his throat, the FBI said.
While waiting for the teller to return from the vault, Estremera struck up a conversation with another employee. “You’re OK. I’m not robbing you. I’m robbing JP Morgan. Tell JP Morgan Rigo did it.” According to the employee, Estremera then spelled his name, although the employee apparently recalled the spelling incorrectly.
As time passed, Estremera made more threats: “If I don’t get the money, I’m going to blow this place up,” he allegedly warned.
|Facebook pic of Estremera wearing helmet allegedly recovered by the FBI|
Eventually, an employee returned from the vault with $111,000 stuffed into a garbage can and gave it to Estremera, according to the federal complaint.
With that, Estremera allegedly said “Thank you, JP Morgan Chase!” and ran from the bank.
The FBI later determined that Estremera escaped with a total of $141,000.
Investigators began to close in on Estremera almost immediately.
Their strongest leads came from the Roscoe Village restaurant where he had allegedly been seen praying before the robbery. Among the many items he left behind was a green construction hat with a “Carpenters Local 58” sticker on it, the FBI said. Before long, agents were looking at Estremera’s Facebook page where he is seen wearing an identical helmet, according to the federal complaint.
Later, a business near the bank reported that their company truck had been stolen around the time of the bank robbery. About five hours after the robbery, the stolen truck was found parked illegally outside the front door of the Apple Store at 801 West North Avenue.
Apple Store employees reported that Estremera had purchased more than $7,300 in Apple products using “very crisp and new bills.” The FBI says he provided an employee with his email address.
Two days after the bank robbery, the Chase employees identified Estremera in a photo line-up the FBI says. One day after that, Estremera was arrested and charged with criminal trespass to a vehicle in connection with the stolen truck that was found outside the Apple Store.
He’s now charged with one federal count of bank robbery. He is due in court on Tuesday morning for a detention hearing.