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Cops: Bank robber threatened to throw acid on teller

Published: Friday, March 23, 2012 12:12 p.m. CDT

(MCT) — A woman who police said threatened to throw acid on a teller during a holdup at a North Riverside bank has been charged with bank robbery. 

Sharletta Shepard, 59, of the 4900 block of West Huron Street in Chicago was charged today in connection with a Wednesday morning robbery at the TCF Bank branch located at 7201 W. 24th St. in North Riverside, the FBI said.

Shepard was accused of entering the bank Wednesday morning carrying a recycle-type grocery bag and handing a teller a demand note that read: “This is not a joke, give me all the money, put it in this bag, I’ll throw acid on you,” according to the FBI.

The teller complied and handed the woman $712, officials said.

The woman, later identified as Shepard, left the bank with the money in the bag.

A witness who was standing in front of the robber in the line described the female bandit as about 60 years old, 5 feet 6 inches tall, wearing a black wig and big black sunglasses, and carrying a green recyclable bag, the FBI said.

Shortly after the robbery, a dispatch message was sent out over police radio describing the robber and her get-away vehicle.

A North Riverside police sergeant spotted a  dark-colored Mazda with no license plates that matched the description and attempted to pull the car over, officials said.

Shepard drove “erratically” for several blocks before pulling over at Harlem and Harvard avenues in Forest Park, officials said.

While she was being detained, the sergeant saw something protruding from her chest area. When he handcuffed her and took her to the back of her vehicle, money began to fall out the bottom of her shirt to the ground, officials said. 

When a female police officer searched Shepard, she found more money and a second demand note in her chest area, the FBI said.

The second note read: “THIS IS NOT A JOKE!!! I HAVE A GUN AND I WILL USE IT EMPTY UR CASH DRAWER N/2 THIS BAG IF U PUT ANYTHING OTHER THAN MONEY IN THE BAG WILL SPLASH U WITH THIS ACID! I AM DESPERATE SO DON’T TRY ME.”

Police recovered $692 from Shepard.

At the police station, Shepard confessed to the robbery and identified herself from a still photo taken from a bank surveillance video, the FBI said.

She also gave police permission to search her vehicle where they found $20 more and the green recycle bag, the FBI said.

The bank teller and the witness both identified Shepard as the robber.

Shepard appeared today before Judge Jeffrey Cole who released her on $4,500 bond pending her next court date, the FBI said. 

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