Police continue search for fugitive
September 17, 2009 (ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill.) (WLS) -- Despite a massive search in the northwest suburbs, a fugitive who escaped while being transported to a courthouse on Thursday morning is still on the run.
Robert Maday is considered armed and dangerous.
Maday, a federal bank robbery suspect, was in shackles and being taken from Kankakee to the courthouse in Rolling Meadows when he escaped.
"He has a violent criminal history. Obviously the action he took today was violent in nature and we know for a fact that he has two weapons that he took from law enforcement so we consider him to be extremely, extremely dangerous," said John O'Malley, U.S. Marshal.
There are about 100 officers dedicated to the search for Robert Maday. Officials say he has family in the vicinity and they have reason to believe he is still in the northwest suburbs.
Omar Aponte was home when federal agents broke through the front door looking for Robert Maday.
Federal, county and local police had the area was locked down as they searched for the 39-year-old fugitive who lived in the building one time.
"I hope they do catch him. He can't keep running from the problem," said Aponte.
With an armed escapee in the area, several schools in the area spent most of the day in lockdown. Aponte's five-year-old nephew, Christian Aponte, was among them.
SWAT teams surrounded the apartment complex in the northwest suburbs as they searched for Maday.
Neighbors said they were worried Thursday.
"We don't know where the guy is. He seems pretty smart," said Carmela Garcia.
Officials went door-to-door through the apartment complex looking for Maday, 39, or Elk Grove.
Maday was scheduled for sentencing Thursday in Rolling Meadows when he overtook two investigators from the Cook County state's attorney while en route to the courthouse. He was expected to be sentenced to 13 years on four counts of aggravated robbery at the hearing. Officials said he was shackled at both is wrists and feet, but managed to take the gun from one of the investigators and forced the one who was driving to pull over.
He has both of their guns, police said.
"We're looking for an escaped prisoner that escaped from two Cook County state's attorney investigators in the area of Algonquin and Golf Road in Rolling Meadows. He carjacked a vehicle from that area and that vehicle was located in Arlington Heights," said Deputy Chief Dave Scanlan, Rolling Meadows Police Department.
Maday was being transferred from a federal holding facility in Kankakee, Ill., to the Rolling Meadows Courthouse for an appearance when he overpowered the officials and stole the vehicle. He also got away with one of the investigator's clothes, according to police.
Maday abandoned that vehicle and carjacked a woman at a Meijer store in Rolling Meadows. He took her car and then abandoned the SUV; Maday continued on foot, police said.
Just before noon, he was spotted near an apartment complex in Arlington Heights near the border of Rolling Meadows, where set up a staging area and appeared to be moving in Thursday afternoon. As many as four jurisdictions were involved in the manhunt.
"He is armed. He is dangerous. We want to get this information out so if anybody spots him, call 911, notify law enforcement immediately," said Deputy Chief Dave Scanlan, Rolling Meadows Police Department.
Numerous businesses in the area and more than a dozen schools in Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect, Des Plaines and Elk Grove were locked down. The high schools let down at the normal time, however, after school events were canceled. The elementary schools discontinued bus service and asked parents to pick up their students.
Maday is considered a career criminal. He has a history of bank robbery charges in several states dating back to 1987. Because of that history, an alert was sent out to schools and education centers in the suburbs. Those were placed on soft lockdown, where students had to be signed in and out by a guardian.
Most recently he pleaded guilty to armed robbery in July and federal robbery charges in August.
Police say they have gotten relatively few tips so far but they are asking for help from the public and have set up a toll free number for information: 888-869-4590. They also say they have a subsubstantiate rble reward for information that leads to an arrest.
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