Girlfriends pulled off string of bank heists across Chicago, feds say

Violet Greco (L) and Glenesha Currie | Elkhart County (Ind.) Sheriff’s Office

Two women who are in a romantic relationship also worked together as partners to rob six banks around Chicago — but a heist in North Center last week would be their last, according to a federal criminal complaint.

Violet Greco, 20, and 29-year-old Glenesha Currie were arrested in Elkhart County, Indiana, about four hours after their last robbery. A Chicago Police Department helicopter shadowed them by following pings from a GPS tracking device that investigators placed on the couple’s car one day earlier.

In a federal complaint, a CPD detective said the robbery of PNC Bank at 4201 North Lincoln on October 20 was similar to five others reported in the city and suburbs since mid-August.

Each robbery was carried out by a Black female of Currie’s size who filled out a deposit slip before approaching tellers with a hold-up note, the detective said. The robber’s note said she had a gun, but no weapon was seen in any of the hold-ups. According to the officer, the same vehicle was also used in each crime, and another person drove the car on four occasions.

Police tried to pull the vehicle over after last week’s robbery in North Center, but the driver sped away and crossed into Indiana, where the car finally stopped at a service station in Elkhart. Greco was allegedly driving the car, which is registered in her name. She and Currie were taken into custody.

The women started their crime spree on August 13 when Currie donned a construction vest as she collected $647 from a bank teller in suburban Summit after handing over a note that said, “Hi. Smile. I have a gun. Give me all the money,” according to the complaint. Surveillance video allegedly showed the robber get out of a car that appears to be Greco’s.

On August 28, a similar hold-up played out at a Peoples Bank near Midway Airport. The robber got away with $3,722 after giving the teller a note that said, “This is a robbery, give me all the money or I will kill you. I have a gun, do not give me dye packs or set the alarm,” the feds allege.

Currie allegedly robbed a Royal Savings Bank in Gage Park on September 11 and collected another $3,719. The detective said video shows her getting out of a car that appears to be Greco’s before committing the robbery.

Then, the duo allegedly robbed a Fifth Third Bank near Midway of $7,848 on September 17. According to the complaint, CPD surveillance cameras tracked the robbers’ getaway car for a distance. They captured footage of someone who looks a lot like Greco getting out of the car to manipulate its license plate after the hold-up.

But cops’ big break came on October 7 after the pair allegedly robbed a TCF Bank in Brighton Park of about $4,000. Again, Chicago cops tracked the getaway car on CPD’s surveillance camera network and eventually captured the vehicle’s license plate number. It allegedly came back to Greco.

That night, police saw Greco and Currie getting out of the car near the Englewood apartment they shared. A few days later, police planted a secret video camera near the couple’s home to record their comings-and-goings. A few days after that, a federal judge authorized installing a tracking device on Greco’s car. Police planted it on the morning of October 19, the detective said.

The next day, the couple drove to North Center, and Currie walked into the PNC bank.

“Do not press alarm. I have a gun. I need $30,000,” said a note that she allegedly passed to a teller. When the teller said she’d hand over all the money she had, Currie allegedly replied, “Give me $20,000 then.”

Currie eventually left with far less than that — $1,639.50, according to the federal complaint.

CPD cameras again tracked the getaway car, and an FBI task force began monitoring the GPS tracker hidden on the vehicle. Cops tried to pull the car over in the New City neighborhood, but the driver sped away, and someone threw a green jacket out of the car, police said. The driver had long blonde hair, much like Greco’s. Police terminated the ground pursuit due to safety concerns.

But the tracker was still working, and investigators used its information and the CPD helicopter to follow the car to Elkhart, where the couple was taken into custody. Greco was arrested at the service station. Investigators found Currie at a nearby motel.

Currie refused to talk with investigators. But Greco did.

The detective said Greco admitted to being the getaway driver, and she said Currie was the one who went into the banks to carry out the robberies. She also allegedly admitted that the green jacket she threw out of the car was the same one Currie wore during the North Center hold-up.

At the Elkhart police station, Greco saw Currie in the hallway and told investigators they were in a romantic relationship.

For now, the couple is only charged with robbing the North Center bank. More charges may be coming.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com