Originally Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2013, 7:29 pm
Last Updated: Jan. 21, 2013, 7:33 pm

FBI says man arrested in Elgin robbery suspected in Q-C Hy-Vee bank burglaries

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McClatchy News Service

This is the suspect wanted in connection with three bank robberies in Quad-Cities area Hy-Vee stores. The FBI has connected him with 14 robberies nationwide, all but one of which were successful.

CHICAGO -- Investigators believe a man arrested minutes after an Elgin bank robbery last week is the "Ray Bandit" responsible for at least 16 other crimes in seven states, the FBI announced Monday.

Jeremy Evans of Carol Stream, Ill., was arrested Jan. 15 just after a robbery was reported at the Old Second National Bank in Elgin. About five minutes after bank employees reported the robbery to 911 and gave a description of his car, Elgin police say officers spotted it headed east on Route 20.

Mr. Evans is charged with a single count of bank robbery in that incident and remains held without bond at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago.

On Monday, FBI officials announced Mr. Evans is suspected to be the man dubbed the "Ray Bandit" because of Ray-Ban sunglasses worn during robberies.

He matches the description of a man believed to have taken more than $75,000 from 17 banks since late July, including the Wells Fargo Bank inside the Avenue of the Cities Hy-Vee in Moline on Aug. 20, the Valley Bank inside the Devils Glen Road Hy-Vee in Bettendorf on Sept. 14 and American Bank and Trust inside the Milan Hy-Vee, 201 10th Ave. W., on Sept. 26.

Charges in Illinois and other states are pending, officials said.

The spree began July 30, 2012, at the Community State Bank in Salem, Wis., according to the FBI. Robberies or attempted robberies were reported throughout August in Moline, Munster, Ind., Janesville Wis., and Hammond, Collinsville and Edwardsville, all in Illinois.

The robberies continued In September, in Bettendorf and Milan were added to the spree, according to the FBI, with an October robbery in Omaha, Neb., and November robberies in Upland, Calif., and Glendora, Calif., officials said.

Two more banks just outside Richmond, Va., were robbed Dec. 5 by a man who matches the same description, the FBI said.

In many of the robberies, the suspect is believed to have driven a Hyundai Elantra, which officials say is the vehicle registered to Mr. Evans. The Ray Bandit also was seen driving a Toyota Camry, the same as used in the Elgin robbery.

In the earlier robberies, the bandit would pass a note indicating he had a gun and demanding money, officials said. But in the California robberies, a bomb threat was verbalized. In Elgin, a gun was displayed.

The Ray Bandit has been featured on FBI.gov and other sites and was featured on the "America's Most Wanted" website, according to FBI officials.

Charges in Illinois and other states are pending, officials said.