UPDATE: Benton, Illinois, police have released the name of a man who officers say robbed a bank Thursday morning.

Police say 81-year-old Arthur W. Bays of Marion, Illinois, is accused of using a handgun to threaten a teller at the State Bank of Whittington branch in Benton. He was arrested at his home on West Main Street in Marion.

Officers say Bays was arrested in a joint effort by police in Benton, West City, West Frankfort and Marion; the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI, along with numerous tips called in by members of the public.

Bays was jailed in the Williamson County Jail, pending federal charges expected to be filed against him.


UPDATE: The Benton, Illinois, Police Department says a man accused of robbing a local bank has been taken into custody.

Police say the man was arrested at his home in Marion, Illinois, Thursday evening.

Officers say further details will be released at a later time, because the investigation is ongoing.


BENTON, IL — Police in Benton, Illinois, are searching for the suspect in an armed bank robbery that was reported Thursday morning.

The Benton Police Department responded to the report of a robbery around 9:11 a.m. at State Bank of Whittington. The bank is at 200 North Main St.

Police say the suspect is a white man around 70 years old with a white goatee. He was wearing glasses, a black and white ball cap, a black jacket and blue jeans. Officers say the man went into the bank, showed the teller he had a handgun in the waistband of his jeans and demanded money.

After he took the money, police say the man fled in a silver Chevrolet Cruze. No injuries were reported in the incident.

In addition to Benton police, the robbery is under investigation by the West City Police Department, the West Frankfort Police Department, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI.

Police have released photos of the suspect. If you recognize him or have other information about the robbery, you can call Benton Police Dispatch at 618-435-8131.

If you see the suspect, police ask that you do not approach him and instead call 911.