Federal prosecutors announced on Jan. 10 that they have charged a North Riverside man with robbing two suburban banks in recent weeks, saying the man threatened to “shoot the place up” unless tellers handed over cash.

Antonio E. Collins, 26, was charged with robbing a Chase Bank branch in Bolingbrook on Dec. 21, 2021 and a BMO Harris Bank branch in Homewood on Jan. 3. During each of the robberies, Collins allegedly handed a note to the teller demanding cash, telling the employees he was armed and would begin shooting people unless they complied.

During the Dec. 21 robbery, Collins allegedly told the teller, “You have 20 seconds to give me all the cash you have. If you don’t I have a gun. I’ll shoot the place up.”

In all, Collins reportedly made off with more than $24,000 from the two robberies, according to John R. Lausch Jr., the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, who announced the charges on Jan. 10.

Each bank robbery charge is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, if convicted.

The U.S Attorney’s Office credited North Riverside police, along with state police and other agencies, for assisting in their investigation.

Police took Collins into custody on Jan. 6 at about 1 p.m. after he entered a vehicle parked on the street in front of a residence in the 2200 block of Northgate Avenue in North Riverside.

The vehicle, a white Kia Sorrento with Arizona plates, was one of two cars – the other was a purple Dodge Charger — Collins reportedly rented from different companies in St. Louis after flying to that city for that purpose. 

Collins then drove the cars to the Chicago area and allegedly used the Dodge Charger in at least one of the bank robberies, abandoning it in the parking lot of an Alsip hotel after the Jan. 3 robbery. Security video from the hotel reportedly showed Collins being picked up from that location by a white Kia Sorrento with Arizona plates. 

According to the complaint, both vehicles had been rented under the same fictitious name in St. Louis within an hour of one another on Dec. 16, five days before the first robbery. 

Federal authorities learned North Riverside police had run a computer check of the license plates on the Kia Sorrento on Dec. 22 after an officer saw it parked on Northgate Avenue near 23rd Street.

Law enforcement officers located the vehicle parked near that same location on Jan. 6 at 8:30 a.m. and began surveillance. When Collins walked outside at around 1 p.m. and got into the car, police arrested him.

The following day, federal agents executed a search warrant at the Northgate Avenue home where Collins reportedly lived with his girlfriend. Inside they reported finding clothing similar to that Collins wore in the Bolingbrook robbery and banded wads of cash from both robberies. They also recovered two handguns.

Collins remains in custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago while awaiting trial.