Elderly Ex-Con Behind Chicago Bank Robbery

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Chicago bank robbery
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The “Leaping Bandit” was identified as an elderly ex-con behind a Chicago bank robbery.

Octogenarian ex-con behind Chicago bank robbery

83-year-old Donald Bennett was taken into FBI custody, after being suspected of orchestrating a string of bank heists across the Greater Chicagoland area.

The FBI believes that Bennett may have been involved in robberies at up to seven banks in the nearby suburbs over the last year.

During at least one heist, the career criminal had an accomplice, who was also pinched for the latest cash grab.

Bennett reportedly became acquainted with his alleged accomplice, 55-year-old Edward Binert, during their time at a federal penitentiary in Michigan in 2006.

The pair of over-the-hill felons paired up to rob a Chase Bank in Hickory Hills on February 14th.

The criminals held a bank teller at gunpoint on Valentine’s Day while wearing black masks, phony wigs, and fake beards.

The pair reportedly managed to make of with nearly $7,000, but despite their decades of experience, made a rookie mistake that cost them their freedom.

Criminal pair behind Chicago bank robbery caught

They used a rented vehicle as a getaway car, but made the grave error of using their real identities to obtain their ride.

The FBI made quick work of identifying the vehicle, and tracing it back Bennett and Birnert, who they arrested the same day.

Once in custody, the FBI has managed to link the octogenarian ex-con to an additional six robberies, although he still hasn’t been formally charged, as they are currently building the case against him.

The FBI said that between June 2023 and February 2024, the Chicago suburbs saw a total of seven bank thefts.

Each heist was the same: An older Caucasian male, with his face obscured by a mask and a wig, would demand money from a bank employee with a firearm.

After every theft, the man would use a rented car to flee from the scene.

The complaint against Bennett stated that he stuck up another Chase branch in Oak Lawn last August.

He wore a surgical mask and a brown wig under a baseball cap, when he allegedly took off with $30,886 in cash.

Old man behind Chicago bank robbery has a lengthy rap sheet

Bennett has been identified as the “Leaping Bandit,” a career criminal who was known for vaulting bank counters during the thefts in his younger years.

Despite his notoriety, Bennett is not a particularly good criminal, and has spent most of his long life behind bars.

He did his first lengthy stint in prison for a 1967 bank robbery, which saw him convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and sentenced to 24 years.

Bennett clearly got out early on good behavior, because he was back to serially robbing banks by 1987.

That year he went on a spree and knocked over five financial institutions.

He was charged and sentenced to 31 years in prison in 1989. This time Bennett served his entire sentence and was released in April 2020.

The crook likely didn’t get early release because at the time of his arrest, he told officers that when he got out of prison, that he’d be jumping “counters again. But it probably won’t be as easy.”

Though Bennett is clearly not agile enough to go back to his “Leaping Bandit” days, he did prove that crime can be committed at any age and history is prone to repeat itself.

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