CHICAGO | A 57-year-old Chicago man accused of being the Kangol Bandit is scheduled to appear Thursday in federal court.
Edward Eason, who according to court records lives in the 1400 block of East 69th Street, is charged in federal court records with five Chicago-area bank robberies, including one each in Calumet City and Homewood. He also is charged in connection with a Hammond robbery, and the FBI considers him a suspect in three more.
Eason, who was arrested Feb. 15 in connection with a Nov. 29 heist at a Charter One Bank branch in the 10200 block of South Ewing Avenue in Chicago, has pleaded not guilty to five counts of bank robbery that are outlined in a federal grand jury indictment.
In addition to the Charter One robbery, a grand jury indicted Eason in connection with the Nov. 15 robbery of the LaSalle Bank in the 7100 block of South Stony Island Avenue in Chicago; the Dec. 11 robbery of the Chase Bank in the 1700 block of River Oaks Drive in Calumet City; the Jan. 25 robbery of the Chicago Community Bank in the 11100 block of South Ewing Avenue in Chicago; and the Feb. 15 robbery of the TCF Bank in the 7800 block of Halsted Street in Homewood.
Prosecutors said Eason made off with more than $22,000 in the five robberies.
The suspect has been dubbed the "Kangol Bandit" because of the distinctive designer hats that were worn in the robberies.
Eason also faces bank robbery charges in Lake County, Ind., court stemming from the Jan. 10 heist at the Fifth Third Bank in the 1700 block of 165th Street in Hammond.
No court date has been set in the Lake County case.
Eason also is a suspect in three other Northwest Indiana bank robberies, Indianapolis FBI Special Agent Wendy Osborne said. They include bank robberies Nov. 21 in Hammond, Jan. 30 in East Chicago and Feb. 11 in Highland, she said.
Eason's arrest in Lansing came one day after a tipster saw surveillance photos in the local media and contacted the FBI's Chicago office to identify Eason as a business associate, according to court records. Later that day, a second tipster also identified the man in the surveillance photos as "Ed" and identified where he worked, according to court records.