Chesterton Tribune


FBI Illinois man believed responsible for 17 bank robberies, two in NWI, is nabbed

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The Indianapolis Division of the FBI has announced the arrest of a subject believed to be responsible for 17 bank robberies since July 30, 2012.

Those robberies occurred in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, California, and Virginia, the FBI said in a statement released on Monday.

Dubbed the “Ray Bandit” for his tendency to wear Ray Ban-type sunglasses during the robberies, the subject was identified as Jeremy Evans of Carol Stream, Ill.

On Jan. 13, Elgin, Ill., Police took Evans into custody minutes after the report of a robbery at Old Second National Bank in Elgin.

Evans’ alleged robbery spree began on July 30, 2012, with the robbery of the Community State Bank in Salem, Wis., followed on Aug. 8 by the attempted robbery of the TCF Bank in Munster and then the robbery of the Fifth Third Bank in Hammond.

The FBI believe that Evans then robbed four more banks in August: in Moline, Collinsville, and Edwardsville, Ill., and one in Janesville, Wis.; followed by two in September, one in Bettendorf, Iowa, and the other in Milan, Ill.,

The Ray Bandit’s spree moved west with bank robberies in Omaha, Neb., and Glendora, Calif.; then east, with robberies in Richmond and Mechanicsville, Va.

The description of the Ray Bandit in all these robberies was similar: a white male, approximately 5’8” to 6’ tall, heavyset, wearing disguises ranging from a beard—either black or blond hair usually covered with a hat of some type—a plaid shirt, and Ray Ban-type sunglasses. In many of these robberies, the subject drove a Hyundai Elantra, which is the vehicle registered to Evans, the FBI said. The Ray Bandit was also seen driving a Toyota Camry, as used in the Elgin robbery. Investigation into all of the vehicles allegedly used by Evans in this multi-state spree is continuing through contact with rental car companies.

In the earlier robberies allegedly committed by Evans, a note was passed indicating that he had a gun and demanding money. However, in both of the California robberies, a bomb threat was verbalized and, in the Elgin robbery, a gun was displayed.

After the apprehension of Evans, a tip was received confirming that Evans may be the Ray Bandit, the FBI said, and follow-up investigation with FBI Divisions and affected police departments “solidified this information.”

“To date, it is believed Evans may be responsible for the robbery of 17 financial institutions in seven states to include three in Elgin,” the FBI said. “Total combined loss from these robberies is over $75,000. Evans is also being investigated for his involvement in numerous unsolved bank robberies in other states and it is anticipated charges may be filed in those robberies as the investigation progresses.”

Evans is currently being held without bond at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago. The decision on filing charges against Evans rests with the United States Attorneys Office, the FBI said, but it’s likely the robberies attributed to Evans will be combined in a single charging document and filed in one judicial district.


Posted 1/23/2013