Crime & Courts

Police: Harvard man says he used cash from Wheaton bank robbery to pay rent

A Harvard man faces federal charges after police say he robbed a Wheaton bank and used the money to pay his rent.

Officers with the Wheaton Police Department and FBI arrested 65-year-old Timothy Bender on March 14 in connection with the 2018 robbery of a Chase Bank.

Multiple people identified Bender as the robber accused of stealing $4,976 and visiting the bank one day earlier, according to a federal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Bender, of the 300 block of Country Brook Lane, confessed to the robbery March 14 and told investigators he used the cash to pay his landlord for rent, the complaint stated.

Reached by phone Friday afternoon, his attorney, Kimberly Claire Seymour declined to comment.

The robbery occurred at 3:25 p.m. March 22, 2018, when a man wearing a surgical mask entered the Chase Bank at 1800 S. Naperville Road, police said.

When Bender approached the teller, he stated in a low tone of voice “I have the flu,” according to the complaint.

Bender then told the teller he wanted to make a withdrawal. When the employee handed him a slip, Bender paused and “stated something to the effect of, ‘I want all the money in the drawer. Do not alarm anybody or sound off the alarm. Just give me the money. Do it now,’ “ according to the complaint.

As he tucked the cash into his jacket sleeve, he reportedly told the teller, “I’m sorry, I have to do this,” the complaint stated.

Throughout their almost yearlong investigation, police reviewed surveillance footage from the bank and a nearby medical facility, where Bender allegedly stopped just before the robbery.

The video recordings showed a man whom several witnesses identified as Bender entering the bank at 3:21 p.m. March 21, 2018. Surveillance footage from a medical facility less than a mile from the bank showed the man entering the building moments before the robbery, then returning minutes after. Bender appeared to have changed his clothes and then left the building, carrying a bag that he apparently had stashed in the bathroom before the robbery, according to the complaint.

During a police interview, Bender identified himself as the suspect in the surveillance photos, the complaint stated. Bender estimated that he only stole about $2,600.

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