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Article posted: 1/25/2013 10:15 AM

Des Plaines resident receives valor award

By Madhu Krishnamurthy

Des Plaines resident Jose Ortiz is a good guy to have around in a tough situation.

Ortiz, who on Nov. 30 stopped a bank robbery in progress, was honored for his quick thinking and selfless actions by the Des Plaines city council this week with a Citizen's Award of Valor.

Ortiz and his elderly mother were at the First Merit Bank on Lee Street in Des Plaines when he noticed one of the tellers placing a large amount of cash into a plastic bag held by a customer, Des Plaines Police Chief William Kushner said.

Quickly realizing from the teller's demeanor that a robbery was in progress, Ortiz confronted the robber and tried to capture him, at which time the man dropped a large amount of cash and other items, Kushner said.

Though the robber broke free and fled the scene, he later was identified through the items he left behind and captured by federal authorities.

"Mr. Ortiz went above and beyond and should be recognized for his actions," Kushner said.

Charges are pending against the robbery suspect, Kushner said.

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