Bank Robber Steals $100K, Gets Stuck In Air Duct

By: CBS/AP (Posted by Kion Hudson)
By: CBS/AP (Posted by Kion Hudson)

(CBS/AP)-- Authorities said they had to cut a wig off a bank robber to get him out of an air duct where they found him early Sunday, after he tred to run off with $100,000 he stole from a suburban Chicago bank vault, CBS Chicago reports.

The wig-wearing 38-year-old Charles Estell was found early hiding in the air duct in an office next to the bank, said Oak Lawn police spokeswoman Michael Kaufmann.

CBS Chicago reports that police surrounded the Ranch Manor Shopping Center building after Estell allegedly robbed the Bank of America branch Saturday afternoon.

"Oh, it was very tense, there's no doubt about that. We knew that he was armed, and we knew he was in that building," Oak Lawn Police Chief Bill Villanova told CBS Chicago.

The FBI said Estell pointed a gun at bank employees who confronted him in the vault.

"I don't want to kill or hurt you," Estell said, according to the criminal complaint. "I just want the money."

He allegedly stuffed $100,000 in a backpack and fled. Employees told authorities it appeared he escaped through the ceiling, the same way he broke into the vault.

Authorities spent hours searching for him and located him around 1 a.m. Sunday. But before they could cut him loose from the air duct, they had to remove a wig of long, beaded dreadlocks he was wearing, reported the AP.

Estell was charged with one felony count of bank robbery and could get up to 20 years in prison if convicted.


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