CHICAGO – In the blurred video images, three men burst into the bank with their guns drawn.
Wearing black shirts and white gloves, their faces covered with what appear to be stocking caps, the men point their guns at customers and employees. In one still image, a robber stands atop a bank counter with what looks like a bank drawer in his hand.
Authorities released images from surveillance cameras at a South Side bank on Wednesday, one day after Tuesday's heist that left 23-year-old bank teller Tramaine Gibson dead and two others wounded. Investigators continued their search for the men Thursday, FBI spokesman Ross Rice said.
Earl Coleman, 53, a bank guard shot during the robbery, was released Wednesday from Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, and Dorothy Sanders, 73, a bank patron who also was shot, remained hospitalized in fair condition Thursday, a hospital spokeswoman said.
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the identification and arrest of the robbers, but identification will be difficult because not even their race is clear from the images.
The men are completely covered. They seem to be dressed almost identically with white athletic shoes, blue jeans and black long-sleeved shirts.
Coleman told the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune that the men wore bulletproof vests and that he shot one in the back and shoulder.
Investigators scoured a stolen getaway car and an empty cash box found inside it Wednesday as they pleaded with the community for information that could help find the gunmen. The robbers should be considered armed and dangerous, authorities said.
"We're counting on the idea that bank robbers may have bragged about their actions to somebody who will like the idea of getting $50,000 more than they like the bank robbers," FBI special agent Tom Simon said.
The thieves overpowered and disarmed a female security guard at Illinois Service Federal Savings and Loan, then leaped over an unobstructed teller's counter before escaping with a small sum of money.
"Due to the violence of the bank robbery, there's a definite police force out looking for these robbers," FBI spokeswoman Cynthia Yates said Wednesday. "We're hoping that someone in the community heard something or knows something. We're following up on every and all leads."
Authorities are investigating whether the robbery is related to a heist earlier this month at a nearby Cole Taylor bank. Both cases involved three masked men wearing dark clothing.
"It's rare in Chicago to have three-person bank robbery crews taking down a bank," Simon said.
Tuesday's bank robbery was the 94th in the city this year.