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Alleged bank robber captured

Accused robber of Community Bank Oak Park River Forest spent time in prison for four other robberies

August 4th, 2017 6:12 PM

Photo provided by the Chicago Bureau of the FBI

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

A man who allegedly robbed Community Bank Oak Park River Forest, 1001 Lake St., on July 19 has been captured, according to the Chicago Bureau of the FBI.

Chicago resident Dane Phenegar, 28, was taken into custody on July 28 and had his first appearance in federal court the same day.

Court records show that it is not Phenegar's first bank robbery. He pleaded guilty to robbing four other banks in December 2011 in Elgin, Glendale Heights, Geneva and Wheaton.

The criminal complaint against Phenegar in the Community Bank robbery notes that he allegedly stole $2,874 at approximately 2:09 p.m. in a non-takeover robbery, meaning that no hostages were taken and most bank employees were unaware that the bank had been robbed until after the event had taken place.

FBI Task Force Officer Paul R. Peraino states in the criminal complain that Phenegar approached one of the tellers and began a conversation with them, and then stated, "Give me all the money in the drawer. This is a robbery."

The teller opened the cash drawer and began to put money in an envelope, when Phenegar allegedly said, "I don't want any dye packs or GPS."

Before leaving he told the teller, "Those doors better not be locked or I'll start shooting."

Phenegar was described as approximately 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10, in his 20s and with dreadlocks. He wore a tan floppy hat, gold and brown sunglasses and a T-shirt, according to Peraino's report.

Law enforcement officials collected five fingerprints and partial finger and palm impressions from the scene of the crime, one of which was connected to Phenegar through the Federal Bureau of Investigation-Next Generation Identification (FBI-NGI) database.

The criminal complaint notes that at the time of the robbery Phenegar was on supervised release from prison in the Northern District of Illinois.

It could not immediately be determined how Phenegar was taken into custody.

About three hours after the July 19 robbery, a witness contacted the Oak Park Police Department and reported they had encountered a man who matched the description of the bank robber in the parking garage at 150 Forest Ave.

The witness was in the parking garage at around 2 p.m. and saw "a thin, black male with dreadlocks, in his early 20s that had a floppy hat and T-shirt," according to the criminal complaint.

The man asked the witness how he could exit the parking garage. The witness later learned of the bank robbery and contacted police.

Both the witness and the bank teller identified Phenegar as the man they encountered the day of the robbery.

Video surveillance of the parking garage revealed that an individual who resembled Phenegar entered the garage from Forest Avenue, according to the criminal complaint.

"Phenegar can be observed taking the elevator up to the fourth level before taking the stairs to the first level and subsequently exiting the parking garage," the criminal complaint states.

The video also shows a man discarding a rolled up grayish colored floppy hat in a garbage can in the garage, according to the complaint. "A later search of the parking garage conducted by law enforcement revealed a pair of sunglasses in a rolled up, grayish colored floppy hat," according to the FBI.

Court records show that Phenegar was on supervised release from prison after pleading guilty to robbing:

  • $780 from Fifth Third Bank, 1500 North Main St., in Wheaton, on Dec. 5, 2011.
  • $5,053 from First State Bank, 323 West St., in Geneva, on Dec. 5, 2011.
  • $203 from TCF Bank, 567 East North Ave., in Glendale Heights, on Dec. 9, 2011.
  • $4,380 from Elgin State Bank, 1001 South Randall Rd., in Elgin, on Dec. 20, 2011.

Phenegar was arrested by St. Charles Police on Dec. 22, 2011, on unrelated charges, according to an FBI press release in 2011.

CONTACT: tim@oakpark.com

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