Sus­pect charged af­ter 2 Ham­mond banks robbed

Post Tribune (Sunday) - - News - By Becky Ja­cobs Post-Tri­bune

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.

FBI PHOTO

The FBI re­leased a sur­veil­lance photo from a bank rob­bery Oct. 11 in Ham­mond.

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