A 25-year old Palos Hills man was charged with stealing nearly $40,000 from the Chase Bank branch, located at 18701 South Halsted Street in south suburban Glenwood, where he worked as an assistant manager. The charges were announced today by Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
BLAZEJ M. WASILEWSKI, of 10361 South Alta Drive in Palos Hills, Illinois, was arrested Saturday evening by Officers of the Dominican National Police as he attempted to enter the Dominican Republic on a commercial airlines flight, which originated in Chicago, earlier that day. WASILEWSKI was in possession of $39,765 in U.S. currency, which he failed to declare to Dominican Customs officials.
WASILEWSKI was charged in a criminal complaint filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Chicago with one count of Bank Embezzlement, which is a felony offense. According to the complaint, WASILEWSKI manually turned off the bank’s electrical power on Friday evening, as the bank was closing for the day. It is alleged that he returned to the bank early the next morning and used his keys and alarm codes to enter the bank, deactivate the alarm, and open the vault.
An audit of the bank conducted by bank employees on Saturday morning determined that a teller cash dispenser was missing while a second had been forced open and the contents removed. In all, $39,765 in bank funds were unaccounted for and believed taken by WASILEWSKI. His bank issued entry key was found sitting on a counter inside the bank while the Chase security system determined that WASILEWSKI’s code had been used to enter the bank branch and open the vault. Attempts by the bank manager to reach WASILEWSKI Saturday morning were unsuccessful.
Subsequent investigation by the FBI developed additional evidence, linking WASILEWSKI to the theft and resulting in the charges that were announced today. Investigators were also able to trace WASILEWSKI to O’Hare International airport, where records showed he boarded a flight to Punta Cana Saturday morning.
WASILEWSKI remains in Dominican custody, awaiting extradition to Chicago. Once returned, he will appear in U.S. District Court in Chicago, at which time he will be formally charged. If convicted of the charge filed against him, WASILEWSKI faces a possible sentence of up to thirty (30) years in prison.