updated 2/23/2005 6:56:00 PM ET 2005-02-23T23:56:00

Federal officials say they have finally solved a bank robbery because a suspect bragged about the crime on a radio talk show.

A caller boasted on WKSC-FM that he and five others tied up employees at a TCF Bank branch in South Chicago Heights in April, took $81,000 and spent some of the money at expensive stores.

A bank employee heard the program last fall and called authorities, setting off a five-month investigation, according to a criminal complaint made public this week.

“The details he provided were incredibly helpful in moving this investigation forward,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Terra Brown said of the radio show caller.

Clear Channel Communications regional vice president John Gehron said the station gave investigators the cell phone number and a transcript and recording of the call.

The FBI said agents traced the phone to Randy Washington, 24, who was arrested Feb. 17.

The FBI says Washington denies any involvement in the robbery, saying he called the radio station to win a prize.

He appeared in court this week on one count of bank robbery. William Slate, 19, was arrested in Dallas, and authorities are searching for four other people they believe were involved.

They face up to 20 years in prison if convicted, FBI spokeswoman Cynthia Yates said.

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