News - Joliet and Will County

Plainfield police officer foiled Nov. 5 bank robbery, records show

Prosecutors seeking forfeiture of robbery suspect’s Ford Focus

Brian Flesher

A Plainfield police officer on patrol had stopped a bank robbery on Nov. 5, right as a bank teller was about to put money in an envelope and give it to the suspect, according to prosecutors.

That detail was stated in a forfeiture complaint filed on Monday by Will County prosecutors against Brian Flesher, 30, of Lockport, who’s charged with financial institution robbery and burglary.

Prosecutors are seeking forfeiture of 2009 Ford Focus they alleged was used by Flesher in the commission of the Nov. 5 robbery at PNC Bank, 13740 S. Route 59.

About 1:11 p.m. on Nov. 5, officers responded to PNC Bank for a report of a robbery.

Plainfield Police Officer Justin Barma was on regular patrol on 135th street near Route 59 when he saw a man with a black baseball cap and black surgical mask who matched the description of a suspect in several other bank robberies, the forfeiture complaint said.

Barma entered the PNC Bank parking lot, saw the Ford Focus, which matched the vehicle used in those robberies, parked his squad vehicle in front of the Ford Focus and entered the bank, the forfeiture complaint said.

When Barma was inside, he saw the suspect later identified as Flesher at the counter with a bank teller and a Manila envelope.

“Officer Barma unholstered his service pistol and ordered Flesher to put his hands in the air and get down onto his knees,” the forfeiture complaint said.

Flesher complied and he was arrested.

At that time, three other officers arrived on scene. Flesher was placed into Barma’s squad vehicle and taken to the Plainfield Police Department.

Afterward the FBI took over the investigation of the robbery.

A bank teller said Flesher entered the bank, approached her counter, handed her a Manila envelope and a paper note advising that he was there to rob the bank and demanded money, according to the forfeiture complaint.

“The bank employee then pressed the silent panic alarm and was about to put the money inside the envelope when Officer Barma entered the front door,” the forfeiture complaint said.

Flesher remains in jail since Nov. 5 on a $250,000 bond. His next court date was scheduled for Jan. 11.