Metro-East News

Police capture man accused of robbing ESL bank

EAST ST. LOUIS — Authorities say a 54-year-old St. Louis man accused of robbing an East St. Louis bank on May 8 was captured by St. Louis Police while he was attempting to rob a downtown St. Louis bank.

Gregory Forest, of 5570 Era Ave. in St. Louis, was charged Wednesday by a federal grand jury with bank robbery. The federal charge is the result of a bank robbery that occurred at First Bank in downtown East St. Louis on May 8. Police were able to capture Forest through a business card he had given to a security guard who was working inside of the bank. The card contained the name of the place where Forest worked, police said.

Forest went in to the bank and indicated to a teller that he had a gun and demanded money. East St. Louis Detective Ronald McClellan said Forest did not, however, show a gun.

He said the security guard at the bank did not know what happened until Forest ran out and the teller yelled she had been robbed. The guard called the East St. Louis Police Department.

Within minutes, the entire detective section, the chief and assistant police chief ran out of the building to the bank. The bank robber was nowhere in sight.

Forest was released from federal prison in 2014 after serving nine years for multiple bank robberies in St. Louis and Chicago.

“We made contact with an FBI agent and a parole agent. His supervised release was violated. We located him in St. Louis, where he was attempting to rob the Pulaski Bank in downtown St. Louis,” McClellan siad.

Forest was being held Friday in St. Louis. He was wanted for three bank robberies and a carjacking there, McClellan said.

Nobody was hurt in the bank robbery in East St. Louis. The clerk who was robbed was shaken up, McClellan said. Forest got away with an undisclosed amount of money.