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Stupid Case File for February 23, 2005

ON AIR: Yeah, um, I Robbed a Bank...

Courtesy of

CHICAGO-- Federal officials say a Dolton man's bragging on a Chicago radio station gave authorities the lead they needed to charge him and one other person with robbing a bank last spring.
The April robbery of a TCF Bank in South Chicago Heights went unsolved until a bank employee heard a man's telephone call to a popular confessions show on WKSC-FM last fall, authorities said.
The caller bragged that he and five others tied up employees, took $81,000 from the bank and spent some of the money at ritzy stores on Chicago's Michigan Avenue.
A TCF employee was driving to work that morning and called authorities, according to a criminal complaint made public this week.
The FBI was able to trace the call back to a cell phone belonging to Randy Washington, 24, of Dolton.
Federal prosecutors have charged both Washington and William Slate, 19, of Dallas, with one count of bank robbery. They face up to 20 years in prison if convicted, FBI spokeswoman Cynthia Yates said.
Washington, who appeared in federal court this week, was ordered detained, and Slate is expected to be extradited to Chicago.
Authorities are still searching for four others they believe also were involved with the robbery.
Telephone listings for Washington and Slate could not be found.
FBI officials say the bragging was the break they needed because bank employees were not able to provide good descriptions of the alleged robbers.
"As a result we had no leads until one of the individuals in the robbery called 103.5," Assistant U.S. Attorney Terra Brown said. "The details he provided were incredibly helpful in moving this investigation forward."
Washington had told the FBI he called the radio station to win a prize and denied any involvement in the robbery.
Clear Channel Communications regional vice president John Gehron said the confession was unusual for the radio station. The station turned over the cell phone number and a transcript and recording of the call.
"This was one that frankly surprised us," Gehron said.

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