MERRILLVILLE | A Carol Stream, Ill., man believed responsible for a string of at least 17 bank robberies, including ones in Hammond, has been arrested by Elgin, Ill., police in connection with his latest heist, the FBI announced.
Jeremy Evans, dubbed the "Ray Bandit" because of his practice of wearing Ray Ban style sunglasses while committing the robberies, was arrested Jan. 15 after allegedly robbing the Old Second National Bank in Elgin. Employees reported the robbery to police about 9:15 a.m. after an armed man came in and demanded money.
A vehicle matching the description of the getaway car was spotted by police a short time later, and Evans was arrested. The subsequent investigation revealed his potential involvement in a bank-robbery spree that began July 30, 2012, in Salem, Wis. On Aug. 8, he is believed to have been involved in an attempted robbery at the TCF Bank in Munster, and a robbery at the Fifth Third Bank in Hammond.
The FBI said Evans also is believed to have robbed banks in Moline, Ill., Janesville, Wis., Collinsville, Ill., and Edwardsville., Ill., in August. In September, he allegedly robbed banks in Bettendorf, Iowa, and Milan, Ill., before heading west, hitting banks in Omaha, Neb., and in California.
Evans is then believed to have crossed the country to hit two banks in Virginia. The FBI said Evans wore disguises, such as a beard and black or blond hair, along with a hat of some type. He often drove a Hyundai Elantra but was arrested in a Toyota Camry. Police are contacting car rental companies about his use of cars.
In the earlier robberies he passed a note saying he had a gun and demanded money. In the California robberies, the FBI said he told the bank employees he had a bomb and in the Elgin robbery a gun was displayed.
A total of about $75,000 was taken in the 17 robberies spread over seven states, and police are investigating his possible involvement in other bank robberies. Evans is being held without bond in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago pending the filing of charges.