Man who gave Chicago bank teller a two-page robbery note is sentenced to 10 years

Adam Neibauer in 2012 | File

A Wisconsin man who was caught because a downtown Chicago bank teller activated a silent alarm while trying to carry out his elaborate hold-up plan has been sentenced to ten years in prison. Adam Neibauer, 40, was previously convicted of trying to rob a bank in Wisconsin and getting away by hijacking a car salesman during a test drive.

Neibauer entered PNC Bank, 1 North Franklin, on June 26, 2020, and said he wanted to get a loan.

When a teller introduced him to a loan officer, Neibauer handed over a two-page note that said, among other things, “You’re getting robbed, I have a weapon, grab another employee, give me all your money,” according to an FBI agent’s statement supporting charges in 2020.

The teller stepped out of the loan office under the guise of getting cash for Neibauer. On their way to the vault, the teller told another employee that they were being robbed. The second employee activated a silent alarm, according to the agent.

The teller returned to the office with $7,000 in large bills. Neibauer then allegedly approached the teller area and ordered three cashiers to “give me all the money out of your drawers.” 

After getting another $7,375 from the tellers, Neibauer reportedly told the bank employees to wait five minutes and then do what they had to do. At that point, police began banging on the bank’s windows because the front door had been locked.

“I told you I had a weapon,” Neibauer reportedly told the bank workers. “Take me to the vault.”

Police entered the bank and repeatedly ordered Neibauer to comply with them for “many minutes” as other officers escorted bank employees to safety, the FBI agent wrote. 

“The procedure,” Neibauer reportedly whined to cops, “is that you do not push the f*cking button. You comply with the f*cking robber.”

Police found $14,375 cash and a large chef’s knife inside an accordion folder that Neibauer carried, according to prosecutors. In September, federal prosecutors said in a sentencing memorandum that Neibauer “poses a significant danger to the public, particularly when his mental health issues are not properly treated.”

Neibauer was charged in August 2016 with trying to rob a BMO Harris Bank branch in Racine, Wisconsin.

In that case, he allegedly approached a teller and asked her to read a letter that he had “received in the mail.” The letter reportedly said, “This is a robbery. Stay calm. Do what you normally do and give me all the money.”

The teller gave the note to her manager for consideration, but Neibauer eventually grabbed it back and left the bank with no money. Neibauer then went to a car dealership and took a vehicle on a test drive. During the trip, he reportedly stopped the car and pulled a gun on the salesman who was along for the ride.

“I just robbed a bank,” Neibauer allegedly said. “Get out.”

When police later located Neibauer in Cook County, Illinois, he still had the note that was used in the bank robbery attempt, prosecutors said. Records from Racine County show that Neibauer pleaded no contest to trying to rob a bank and was given a three-year sentence.

US District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman sentenced Neibauer on Friday. She recommended that he serve his time at a federal facility in Oxford, Wisconsin.

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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