Wanted Tinley Park man once threatened to shoot teller during bank robbery
BY CASEY TONER Sun-Times Mediafirstname.lastname@example.org December 18, 2012 9:00PM
Kenneth Connelly who escaped from the Metropolitan Correctional Center at 71 W. Van Buren St. | FBI photo
Updated: January 20, 2013 6:33AM
The 38-year-old Tinley Park criminal on the run after escaping from the 17th floor of Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Center is a former strip club employee who once threatened to shoot a teller during a Homewood bank robbery.
Kenneth Conley was awaiting his sentencing at the Metropolitan Correctional Center for robbing the Homewood bank on May 13, 2011. He stole $3,969 from an MB Financial Bank branch inside the Walt’s Food Center at 2345 W. 183rd St.
Conley went into the bank early that afternoon, wearing a black suit, white dress shirt and light tie and began talking to a teller about a mortgage. He left but returned to the teller a few minutes later, yelling that he had lost $25,000, his house, wife and two children, prosecutors said.
Conley then showed the butt of a black pistol in his waistband to a teller and threatened the teller, saying that he had “six bullets in the gun,” prosecutors said.
“If you don’t give it to me I will put them in your head,” Conley said.
Later that day, Conley showed up at the Club 390 strip club in Chicago Heights, where he worked as a floor host, flashing an unusually large amount of cash, and he repaid a $500 loan to a co-worker. Conley stayed at the club for about 30 minutes before leaving, saying he had to catch a flight to Bermuda the following day.
Conley was arrested in Chicago Heights six days after the robbery for pointing a gun at someone while driving a gold Land Rover, and Chicago Heights police recovered a black BB gun, prosecutors said.
Police later found clothing in the vehicle matching the clothing worn by the bank robber.
Conley told authorities on May 25, 2011, that he did not commit the robbery. He then went missing until he was arrested in September 2011 in California.
On the eve of his trial, he pleaded guilty to the bank robbery on Oct. 29 and was scheduled to be sentenced in January.
Records show Conley was previously convicted of armed robbery in 1996, felony shoplifting in 2005 and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon in August 2004.
Two of Conley’s family members reached by phone Tuesday hung up without commenting.