Edens Bank, 5256 Dempster St., was robbed Wednesday. It marked the second bank robbery in Skokie in less than a month.
According to police, the suspect entered the bank about 4 p.m. and originally asked a teller for some information on opening an account. He then left the bank, returned one minute later and approached the bank manager quietly.
Police said the robber told the manager "to relax" as he placed "something into her side with his hand."
The manager told the suspect that she was "too nervous to open the bank vault," which prompted a reply of "I know you're pregnant so I won't hurt you," according to the police report.
The suspect then made the bank manager lay face down on the floor while he looted the vault of about $4,100, police reported. After the suspect fled, the manager said she was so nervous that she "punched the alarm three times."
The police described the suspect as a black man, weighing between 200 and 250 pounds and between the age of 30 and 40.
When viewing the video footage of the robbery, it appeared the suspect "never held a weapon," according to the report.
Police determined from the outside video surveillance that the suspect entered a white Jeep Liberty that was parked at a strip mall just east of the bank. He then drove the sport utility vehicle through an alley behind the bank and mall.
With the bank located less than 50 yards from the Interstate 94 entrance ramp, deputy chief Anthony Scarpelli said the easy access to the highway could have played a role in why the bank was targeted.
"We're not ruling that out," Scarpelli said. "The FBI is involved – it's a federal offense – so we're working closely together."
When asked if there was any relation to the July 9 bank robbery at Brickyard Bank, 3536 W. Dempster St., Scarpelli said the two are "unrelated."
"Bank robberies are relatively unpredictable," he said. "You'll get two in three weeks and then get nothing."
Nick Selvaggio works at ProFormance Physical Therapy, 5240 W. Dempster St., which is the closest business next to Edens Bank. Selvaggio was working at the time of the robbery and said it was raining so hard that the suspect could have been standing directly outside his store and he wouldn't have been able "to see a thing."
David Woods, an employee at T-Mobile Limited that is next to the bank, said he thought the bank was closed in the past.
"I would drive by [the Edens Bank] parking lot and it would be empty a lot of the time," Woods said. "I think it's been robbed a couple of times too – I think when they just opened up they were robbed."
Skokie police were able to alert residents through Nixle moments after the bank was robbed. Police provided a description of the suspect and what direction his SUV was last seen heading.
If you have any information about the Edens Bank robbery, call the Skokie Police Department at 847-982-5900.