Daughter's Bank Heist Prank Text Prompts Mom to Call Cops

A Tinley Park woman was cited after her joking text was taken seriously, leading to a false 911 call about a robbery at an Orland Park bank Tuesday and a large police response.

A 19-year-old Tinley Park woman was cited for disorderly conduct, after she jokingly told her mother via text message that two escaped bank robbers were holding up an Orland Park bank Tuesday, leading to a 911 call and a large response from local law enforcement.

While local police and federal agents were searching for two convicted bank robbers who escaped a Chicago prison complex Tuesday morning and were later spotted in Tinley Park, the 19-year-old headed to Marquette Bank at 7560 W. 159th St. around noon, according to Orland Park Police Commander John Keating.

The woman’s mother texted her to be careful because of the convicts on the loose, and she replied that the men were at the bank, with guns, Keating said. The mother then called 911 at 12:14 p.m. and reported the nonexistent robbery, leading to a major response from Orland Park officers.

“The mother didn’t realize she was making light of the situation,” Keating said. “It was poor judgment for her daughter to make the joke. We deployed resources in accordance with our procedures for an armed robbery.”

Several Orland Park officers and detectives, clad in bulletproof vests, gathered around the bank’s perimeter, according to witnesses passing by the bank.

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“We had a lot of resources on the scene real quick,” Keating said.

Orland Park police did not release the woman’s name because no criminal charges were filed, according to Orland Park Police Commander John Keating.

“We have to weigh the seriousness and criminal intent behind something like this,” Keating said, in regard to the citation. “This definitely would’ve been a different story if she would’ve called us directly and made this claim herself.”

Orland Park police was in touch with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Tinley Park Police Department, while they searched for the escaped convicts, Keating said.

“We take these calls very seriously,” Keating said. “We felt in this case that the manner in which this happened, and circumstances surrounding the call, that the municipal violation was appropriate.”


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JEG December 21, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Apparently this girl and I mean girl because she doesnt show the maturity of a woman never heard the story of Peter and the Wolf. Sure hope she never really texts in an emergency. Will be hard to believe her.
Big Tuna December 21, 2012 at 06:53 PM
To the girl that thought lying about a bank robbery taking place would be a funny "joke"...THANK YOU for the horrific day you put my family through. Having seen the first officers pull up in their squads on the scene and pull rifles from their cars, I had to make the decision to quickly leave the bank parking lot with my sister's two children in the car for their safety and drive away while she was in the bank not knowing whether I or her children would ever see her again. Upon learning the situation, my entire family was in turmoil due to what we were imagining the outcome of the events could possibly be, especially due to the news of the escaped bank robbers in our area. I'm not sure that my sister would be able to find any humor in this from her view under the desk where she was hiding in the bank.
joy polcaster December 21, 2012 at 11:25 PM
My guess is the girl was used to her mom being cautious and was making a joking comment TO HER MOM like. "sure mom...ok..mom... oh...those robbers are right here holding up the bank.". You know... being playful or slightly sarcastic. While this is hard to " get " in a texr... I REALLY DOUBT her intent was for her mom to call 911.
Susan December 22, 2012 at 02:38 AM
It doesn't sound like Mom and daughter knew each other too well. The Mother maybe wanted attention. It was a stupid thing to do. No common sense.
Gina December 22, 2012 at 02:56 AM
Susan - you believe that a grown woman wanted attention and called in a bank robbery? Attention from her daughter, police, the Patch? I believe any parent would call the police if they received a text from their child claiming they were in harm's way. I agree with Joy, it was most likely not this girl's intent to cause alarm. She was most likely trying to be sarcastic.
Mom Oftwo December 22, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Who is she related to that this is being treated as such a minor thing that her name isn't even being released? Seems like names are released for less than this. There could have been serious repercussions from this "joke" if the police had been needed elsewhere or if they had gotten in a crash heading to a non-event.
Arthur Huff December 22, 2012 at 10:32 PM
I think the actual wording of the text is very important here. A couple possibilities: Mom: Be careful. There are two bank robbers on the loose in the area Daughter: Yea yea mom, they are totally robbing my bank right now Mom: Seriously?? Mom: Are you serious? Mom: I'm calling 911 If it went this way that's one thing and I can understand why they aren't throwing her in prison. However, if it went this way... Daughter: OMG mom my bank is being robbed by those two guys!!!! Mom: I'll call 911 .....then she deserves a harsh punishment. Given what the police are saying I would bet it was probably more like the first scenario and is a horrible misunderstanding and hopefully she will learn a lesson.
Arthur Huff December 22, 2012 at 10:33 PM
If knowing her name is really that important I think you can probably get it through the Freedom of Information Act.
Glenn Brooks December 23, 2012 at 08:25 PM
OMFG. This is no LOL. no JK. She should STFU.
Ben Feldheim (Editor) December 24, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Arthur, your first scenario is what police described.
Grant December 24, 2012 at 01:31 PM
I think it's crazy that in today's society everyone is so paranoid, that something that sounds like a daughter being innocently sarcastic to her Mom has now turned into this. What is happening to our country?
Arthur Huff December 24, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Then there we have it. This was an unfortunate sequence of events. It certainly doesn't seem as though there was any malicious intent and the action taken by the police seems about right.


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