Man robbed Chicago bank 3 days after being acquitted of bank robbery: FBI

CHICAGO — Federal officials say a Chicago man robbed a Lincoln Park bank on Monday, just three days after a jury found him not guilty of robbing a different bank.

Mohamed Worku, 31, was charged in December 2021 with robbing the Fifth Third Bank at 3957 West 26th Street. At the time, federal prosecutors said he placed a demand note with words to the effect of “give me the money” on a plexiglass partition at a teller station.

Fearing he had a weapon in his backpack, the bank worker handed over about $595, according to the original federal complaint. When Chicago cops arrested him 27 minutes later, he was dressed like the bank robber and was carrying a robbery note that read “Give me the money Please Thank you” and $492 in cash, officials alleged.

On Friday, though, a federal jury found Worku not guilty of bank robbery, and U.S. District Judge John Kness set him free.

Federal prosecutors now say Worku robbed a different bank less than 72 hours after the jury returned its verdict.

Around 1:59 p.m. Monday, a man passed a note to a teller at Citibank, 2001 North Halsted, in Lincoln Park.

“Please Give me the money I’ll pay it back soon banker’s Gife to me in advance,” the note read, according to a federal complaint filed Tuesday.

Mohamed Worku (center) in a 2017 mugshot and images submitted to support new robbery charges against him. | Chicago Police Department; U.S. District Court records

The teller handed the robber $2,068. Wearing a surgical mask, neon green gloves, and a neon green winter cap, the bandit headed out the door.

Less than an hour later, Chicago cops spotted Worku near Lincoln and Armitage, matching the robber’s description. The complaint said he had a green hat and gloves sticking out of his coat pockets and a blue surgical mask in his pants pocket.

And, according to the feds, he was carrying federal prison paperwork and “approximately” $1,848.22 in cash.

Investigators found surveillance video of a man matching the bank robber’s description, still wearing the neon green hat and gloves, buying clothing and a backpack at a nearby Target store.

After making the purchase, he changed into the new clothes, ditched some of his old clothes, and headed out the door—although he kept the green hat and gloves, the complaint said.

Prosecutors have again charged Worku with bank robbery. This time, they added a charge of bank theft, too.

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About Tim Hecke 215 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. His email address is tim@cwbchicago.com