Cops use cameras to track Loop bank robber to Chinatown homeless camp

Timothy Brown in 2015 | CPD

Chicago police use a chain of private and city surveillance cameras to track a bank robber from the Loop to a homeless camp in Chinatown where they found the bandit with seven $100 bills in his pockets, according to an FBI complaint.

Timothy M. Brown, 57, is charged with one federal count of bank robbery.

Brown allegedly walked into the Chase Bank at 55 East Monroe around 4 p.m. Wednesday and told a teller, “give me all the cash.”

“Just so you know,” Brown said as the teller handed him about $2,000 cash, “this is a robbery.”

After telling the employee that he had a gun and not to press any buttons or tell anyone about the robbery, Brown fled, an FBI agent wrote in charging papers.

The bank robber counts cash as he rides an elevator to the Jackson Red Line platform. | Federal court files

Police quickly pieced together the robber’s get-away route by pulling video from the bank, DePaul University, and the CTA. Video shows Brown walking through a Loop alley and heading onto the Red Line as he shed layer after layer of clothing along the way, the agent said.

One CTA camera allegedly recorded Brown counting cash as he rode an elevator down to the Jackson Red Line platform. According to the complaint, other cameras showed him boarding a southbound train and walking out of the Chinatown-Cermak station shortly after the hold-up.

From there, CPD POD cameras tracked Brown as he walked to a homeless camp on the 300 block of West Cermak, the agent said.

The bank robber exits the red line in Chinatown | Federal court files

Shortly after 7 p.m., police spotted Brown in the camp and realized he looked like the suspect. Brown permitted them to search him, and cops allegedly found $700 in $100 bills plus another $60 in his possession.

Later, the FBI searched a bag that the bank robber ditched as he fled the Loop. Inside, agents found copies of medical records for a person named Timothy Brown who has Brown’s exact birthdate, according to the agent.

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About Tim Hecke 5786 Articles
Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. He can be reached at