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Bank robber caught after texting wife photo of cash, FBI says

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 2:01 AM EDT
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LOMBARD, Ill. (WBBM) - An accused bank robber in Illinois thought he got away scot-free until he found authorities waiting at his home.

Jason Bradley was charged Tuesday with robbing a bank with fireworks duct taped to his waist. The criminal complaint against him was handed down by the U.S. Attorney’s office.

In the complaint, an FBI agent reported the suspect entered the West Suburban Bank in Lombard, Illinois, at 1:17 p.m. Monday. He was wearing no gloves or hat, just a paper face mask. He handed the branch manager a note reading, “I need everything from your drawer or WE ALL DIE!!!”

Jason Bradley, of Illinois, was charged with robbing a bank with fireworks duct taped to his...
Jason Bradley, of Illinois, was charged with robbing a bank with fireworks duct taped to his waist. Prosecutors say the most incriminating evidence against him is a text message to his wife, in which he told her all about the heist.(Source: WBBM via CNN)

Bradley then unzipped his sweatshirt to reveal a “device strapped to his waist that looked like a bomb,” the agent reported. It was later determined the device was only fireworks he had duct taped to himself.

A teller pressed the distress button on the teller cash recycler, which alerted authorities via a silent alarm and dispensed a predetermined $800 to get the robber out of the bank.

Bradley hightailed it to the parking lot with the money and into a Chevy Cruz, a car registered to him at a Villa Park address, the agent reported.

By 2 p.m., just 45 minutes after Bradley entered the bank, police were staked out around his home, waiting for him to return.

Meanwhile, law enforcement tracked down his wife’s phone number and left her a voicemail asking to search the house, to which she agreed. Bradley’s wife told agents he called her around 5:45 p.m. Monday and said he had robbed a bank and ditched his car in Elmhurst.

He described the crime to her and texted a picture of a handful of cash, all traceable bills, according to the complaint. It was accompanied by the message: “Nobody has been looking for me? Nothing? Wtf.”

Police arrested Bradley around 6:40 p.m. at his home. He had $747 on him, the agent reported. It was not clear whether he lost or spent the missing $53.

In their search of his house, agents found a red shirt that looked like the one the suspect had been wearing during the robbery, fireworks wrappers, a roll of duct tape and a notepad consistent with the demand note.

Bradley’s car was located in Elmhurst.

Prosecutors say Bradley’s text messages to his wife, in which he told her all about the heist, are the most incriminating evidence against him.

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