Updated 09/22/11 – 12:55 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — A “soft lockdown” has ended at three Highland Park schools and activity was returning to normal after an initial search for a bank robber came up empty on Thursday.

A man wearing a black curly wig with red highlights and large dark sunglasses entered the PNC Bank branch at 579 Central Av. in Highland Park a few minutes after 8 a.m. on Thursday and approached a teller with a note announcing a robbery, police said. The note implied the man had a gun and instructed the teller to turn over cash from her drawer.

The teller complied and the robber left the bank, fleeing west on Central Avenue.

Highland Park High School, Indian Trails Elementary and Elm Place Elementary School were placed on a “soft lockdown” as a precaution while police searched for the suspect, officials said. A soft lockdown means that students are not allowed outside and the outside doors are locked.

But Thursday afternoon, police said the search for the suspect came up empty and activity was returning to normal in the area.

The suspect is described as a black male in his late 20s, approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall, with a medium build. In addition to the wig and sunglasses, he was wearing a dark blue or black jacket, white undershirt and blue jeans. He was carrying a blue hard-sided bag with silver zippers and handle.

A Chase Bank branch, also in the 500 block of Central Avenue, was robbed on Sept. 1 by a lone while male suspect.

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