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Convicted bank robber Donald Bennett, 83, faces new bank heists accusations

An elderly man who spent decades in prison for a string of bank robberies was arrested again last week on suspicion of targeting a string of Chicago-area financial institutions, authorities said.

Donald “Doc” Bennett, 83, was arrested and charged in the Feb. 14 Chase Bank robbery and has committed six more robberies after being released from prison for the second time in 2020, according to reports. It is said that he is involved in.

According to a criminal complaint filed by the FBI, the convicted felon, along with an accomplice, allegedly fired a gun from Chase and robbed him of approximately $7,000 on Valentine’s Day.


Images of a bank robbery allegedly involving Bennett and Edward Binnert. United States District Court

Bennett and Edward Binnert, 55, of Kentucky, were arrested last Wednesday at Edward Binnert’s home in Illinois.

The fact that the two allegedly used their real names to rent a getaway car was also implicated in the crime, the special agent said in the affidavit.

Decades ago, Bennett was nicknamed the “jumping bandit” for the way he would jump over bank counters. Chicago Tribune, Federal authorities also linked it to six other robberies at Chase Bank or Fifth Third Bank dating back to June of last year.

Now in his 80s, he no longer performs similar stunts, but he is said to have stuck to the old trick of wearing a wig when robbing banks.

During an Aug. 25 robbery at another Chase location in Oak Lawn, Bennett wore a brown wig under a ball cap and a surgical mask while stealing $30,886, according to a criminal complaint. He is suspected of stealing.

“I know that six of the seven bank robberies have these similarities: The robber was an older white man with his face covered and brandishing a handgun. The robbers demanded bank funds from the teller and a rental car was used as the getaway vehicle, according to criminal prosecutors.

Bennett wore a wig during a series of robberies in the 1980s. According to a Chicago Tribune article at the time.


FBI agents say a wig was used in the robbery.
FBI agents say a wig was used in the robbery. United States District Court

He was convicted of bank robbery and assault with a deadly weapon in 1967 and sentenced to 24 years in prison, according to the FBI.

Binato, who is said to be an accomplice, allegedly admitted to the FBI after his arrest that he was involved in the February 14 theft and that Bennett had borrowed the getaway car. He said the two met while in federal prison in 2006.

Both men were charged with armed robbery, and Bennett appeared to have foreshadowed this when he was arrested for another bank robbery in 1989.

At the time, when a police officer asked Bennett what he planned to do when he was released from prison, Bennett replied: But it probably won’t be that easy,” the Chicago Tribune reported at the time.

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