Updated: February 23, 2013 6:34AM
A man arrested last week after robbing an Elgin bank has now been linked to 16 other bank robberies, the FBI said Monday.
Jeremy Evans, 30, of the 100 block of Horizon Circle in Carol Stream, was charged last Wednesday with one count of felony bank robbery, according to a statement from FBI spokeswoman Joan Hyde.
On Monday, the FBI said Evans — dubbed the “Ray Bandit” because of the sunglasses he wore during the robberies — is suspected of robbing 17 banks in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Virginia and California.
He is believed to have made off with a total of more than $75,000, the FBI said.
The FBI said Evans’ spree began July 30, 2012, when he robbed the Community State Bank branch in Salem, Wis. In the following months, he is accused of attempting to rob a bank in Munster, Ind.; and robbing banks in Hammond, Ind.; Moline, Ill.; Janesville, Wis.; Colinsville, Ill.; Edwardsville, Ill.; Bettendorf, Iowa; Milan, Ill.; Omaha, Neb.; Upland, Calif.; Glendora, Calif.; and Mechanicsville, Va.
Evans was arrested after robbing the Old Second National Bank branch at 3290 Route 20 in Elgin about 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, according to the federal criminal complaint and affidavit.
He approached a teller, placed a handgun on the counter and said, “Give me all the money,” according to the affidavit. The teller gave him money from two cash drawers, then he jumped the counter toward the vault.
But when two tellers were unable to open the vault, Evans ran out, the affidavit said. One of the tellers gave police a description of his getaway vehicle, which he had stopped for a red light at a nearby intersection.
Elgin police stopped the vehicle a few minutes later at Route 20 and Lambert Lane, on the city’s eastern edge. Inside the car, they found a replica gun, and the $4,812 — including “bait bills” — the teller handed over, the affidavit said.
In most of his early robberies, Evans would pass a note indicating he had a gun, but in the California robberies he made a bomb threat, the FBI said.
The FBI is still investigating his possible involvement in other robberies.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Mason ordered Evans held until a Jan. 24 detention and preliminary hearing, Hyde said.