Man charged with robbing Uptown bank may be responsible for two more holdups in Boystown, officials say

The bank robber hands over a note before fleeing with a bag of cash at Huntington Bank, 4355 North Sheridan. | U.S. District Court records

CHICAGO — A Chicago man charged with robbing a bank in Uptown last week may also be responsible for two similar bank heists in Boystown. That’s one of the revelations in a newly-filed federal complaint against 66-year-old Dennis Hammel.

Around 3 p.m. last Thursday, July 13, a man walked into the Jewel-Osco, 4355 North Sheridan, and headed to the Huntington Bank counter with a duffel bag in his hand.

Before he even reached the counter, one of the tellers noticed a birthmark on the man’s neck and immediately suspected that he was the man who had recently robbed a Huntington Bank branch inside the Boystown Jewel-Osco, according to the federal complaint.

The teller activated a silent alarm and watched as the man placed a note on another teller’s keyboard: “THIS IS A ROBBERY, I HAVE A WEAPON, NO DYE PACKS, NO TRACKING DEVICES, JUST GIVE ME SOME CASH, AND NOBODY GETS HURT”

The second teller slipped a tracking device into a stack of cash and handed it to the robber, who walked out with about $2,172, the complaint said.

Chicago police officers followed the tracker. Near Broadway and Grace, the cops pulled over a CTA bus that seemed to be moving in sync with the bank’s GPS device.

Officials say this is what police found when they opened Hammel’s duffel bag after the robbery. | U.S. District Court records

The officers boarded the bus and found Hammel sitting in the back, gripping a black duffel bag, and looking a lot like the bank robber, an FBI agent wrote in the complaint.

Investigators found a stack of cash inside Hammel’s bag and the tracker, which emitted a “chirping” sound, the agent said.

Coincidentally, Hammel was arrested just one block north of the Huntington Bank that he is suspected of robbing twice before.

Around 2:40 p.m. on April 20, a man handed a robbery note to the teller at Huntington Bank inside Jewel-Osco, 3531 North Broadway, officials said. And he did the same thing at the same bank on September 2, 2022, according to the FBI.

As of Monday, Hammel was only charged with robbing the Uptown bank branch last week.

Bank surveillance images show the man during a robbery of Huntington Bank, 3531 North Broadway. | FBI

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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