Suspect charged after 2 Hammond banks robbed
A Michigan City woman was arrested after investigators said she robbed two Hammond banks of nearly $10,000, court records show.
April Denise Hill was charged with bank robbery in a complaint Thursday in federal court in Hammond.
Hill is accused of robbing Fifth Third Bank on E. 165th Street on Aug. 17 and BMO Harris Bank in the 7200 block of Indianapolis Boulevard on Oct 11, according to the complaint.
In both robberies, surveillance video showed the bank robber as a woman, who appeared to be about 40 years old, wearing sunglasses, a bandanna and a T-shirt, the complaint states.
On Aug. 17, the robber entered the Fifth Third Bank around 1 p.m. with a note that instructed the teller to give her “all the $50 and $100 bills and to hurry up and not to give her any dyes or trackers,” according to the complaint.
“The bank robber had her hand positioned under her shirt by her waist which gave the (teller) the perception the bank robber was armed,” the complaint states.
The teller, who was “in fear for her safety,” gave the woman $1,700 and the bank woman fled the bank, according to the complaint.
The bank robber dropped her sunglasses and the cloth covering her head in the parking lot, which were collected as evidence, the complaint states. Police also found a cigarette butt near the items, according to the complaint.
On Oct. 11, the robber entered BMO Harris Bank about 3:20 p.m. and gave the teller with a note saying to “give her all the $100 and $50 bills in the drawer,” the complaint states.
The teller told the woman “she had to get money from the drawer in the back,” according to the complaint, “but the bank robber told her, ‘No. Here.’”
A co-worker at the next teller window asked what was going on, and “the bank robber gestured in a way that the teller interrupted as a non-verbal command to get the money,” the complaint states. The teller got the money from the drawer, and the bank robber fled with $8,200 in cash, according to the complaint.
FBI investigators compared surveillance footage from the two robberies and concluded they were done by the same person, the complaint states.
The woman parked a 2013 Ford Escape at a gas station south of BMO Harris Bank before the robbery, and she returned to the vehicle afterward, according to the complaint. The license plates on the car were registered to Hill, the complaint states.
Investigators went Oct. 15 to Hill’s address in Michigan City and saw a woman who matched the description of the bank robber get in a Ford Escape, according to the complaint.
Surveillance images from the BMV branch in Michigan City showed Hill get new license plates for the Ford Escape Aug 17 between 4:02 p.m. and 4:17 p.m., the same day as the first robbery, according to the complaint.
“She paid a $190 transaction in cash,” the complaint states.
Hill made an initial appearance Thursday in federal court in Hammond, court records show. She is scheduled for a detention and probable cause hearing Tuesday.
The FBI released a surveillance photo from a bank robbery Oct. 11 in Hammond.