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Accused bank robber, 73, nabbed in North Chicago

Updated: March 13, 2013 6:26AM

NORTH CHICAGO — An elderly man on supervised release for robbing a bank has been charged with holding up another bank for allegedly stealing more than $4,000 from a Harris Bank branch Saturday.

The FBI and Niles police arrested 73-year-old Walter Unbehaun outside a North Chicago motel on Sunday, the FBI said Monday. He was charged with one count of bank robbery for the Saturday holdup of the Harris branch in Niles.

Information provided to authorities by those who saw media coverage of the robbery helped authorities make the arrest without incident at the Great Lakes Motel, 3101 Buckley Road, the FBI said. A loaded, silver .32-caliber handgun was found in Unbehaun’s motel room, and he gave a full statement confessing to the robbery, the complaint states.

Unbehaun, who returned to Illinois recently from Rock Hill, S.C., drove to the bank and handed a teller a note, written on a Harris Bank transaction slip, demanding money, the FBI said.

A criminal complaint filed Monday claims Unbehaun then verbally demanded money and told the teller: “This is a hold up. I have nothing to lose. Give me the money in the drawer.” He then opened his jacket to show a handgun in the waistband of his pants, the FBI said.

He then told the teller, “I only have six months to live and have nothing to lose. I don’t want to hurt you,” the complaint said.

Unbehaun took the cash from the teller, divided it into two piles and put the money in separate pockets, then left with $4,178.

At the time of his arrest, Unbehaun was on supervised release from a June 2000 conviction for bank robbery in northern Illinois, for which he was sentenced to 188 months in prison. Released in 2012, he had his supervision transferred to South Carolina, the complaint states.

He underwent hip surgery in January, but on Feb. 7, a U.S. Probation Officer notified authorities that Unbehaun had fled that state in violation of terms of his release.

On Monday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Geraldine Soat Brown ordered Unbehaun held until his next court appearance, the FBI said. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

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