An arrest was made earlier today of a suspect in the “Belmont - Central Bandit” serial bank robbery investigation announced Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Jody P. Weis, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department (CPD); and Thomas Dart, Cook County Sheriff.
GUSTAVO PABLO, age 31, of Chicago, was arrested Thursday morning, without incident, by members of the Chicago FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force (VCTF) at his residence. Also taken into custody this morning was ULANA KOZAK, age 22, who is also from Chicago. Both PABLO and KOZAK were charged in a criminal complaint filed earlier this week in U.S. District Court in Chicago with one count each of Bank Robbery, which is a felony offense.
According to the complaint, which only charges PABLO and KOZAK with the July 9th robbery of the Brickyard Bank branch, located at 3536 West Dempster in Skokie, the two entered the bank just before 1:00 pm and approached the teller counter. KOZAK is alleged to have handed a note to a bank employee, announcing a robbery and demanding cash. PABLO then is alleged to have pulled two plastic shopping bags from his pocket, handed them to bank employees and ordered them to fill the bags with money. After receiving nearly ten thousand dollars in cash, the two fled the bank on foot, disappearing out of sight of witnesses.
The two were identified after a tip was received from a member of the public, who had seen news accounts of the robbery and bank surveillance photos of PABLO. Subsequent investigation by the VCTF identified PABLO and KOZAK as the suspected robbers and resulted in the charges announced today.
Though not charged with any additional robberies at this time, PABLO is a suspect in a string of as many as eight robberies and attempted robberies of banks in Chicago, Skokie and Lyons, dating to March of this year. He had been dubbed the “Belmont – Central Bandit” as the first three banks he is suspected of robbing were in the vicinity of the northwest Chicago intersection.
PABLO and KOZAK appeared before Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole in Chicago, earlier today, at which time they were formally charged. The two were ordered held without bond, pending their next scheduled court appearance. Until then, they will be housed at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Chicago. If convicted of the charge filed against them, PABLO and KOZAK face a possible sentence of up to twenty (20) years incarceration.