Reward Offer Increased to $50,000
Chicago, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Authorities are once again asking for the public’s help in identifying the serial robber suspected of as many as 16 armed takeover-style robberies of banks and credit unions in the western suburbs. Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), was joined today by chiefs from six suburban police departments in announcing that a reward of up to $50,000 is now being offered for information leading to the identification and arrest of the “Wheaton Bandit.” A combined reward of up to $45,000 was previously offered by the FBI and several of the affected banks.
The “Wheaton Bandit,” who was so named as seven of the banks he initially robbed were in the west suburb, first struck in January of 2002 and continued robbing banks in and around Wheaton until December 7, 2006, when he hit the Glen Ellyn Bank and Trust, which is believed to be his last Chicago-area robbery. No injuries were reported during any of the incidents.
The first major break in the investigation came in November of 2006, when a passerby is believed to have caught a glimpse of the “Wheaton Bandit” without his trademark ski mask pulled down over his face. This was just prior to the armed robbery of the Fifth Third Bank branch, located in Winfield. An artist rendition of the robber based on the witness account is contained on the wanted flyer below.
More recently, a bank surveillance photo of a person of interest was discovered. This individual, who investigators would like to identify, entered the Mid America Bank branch in Glen Ellyn in late December of 2004. He was not a customer of the bank and was never seen again by bank employees. However, the bank was robbed by the “Wheaton Bandit” a couple weeks later and this individual appears to fit the known physical description of the robber. As such, anyone recognizing this individual, who is depicted on the seeking information flyer below, is asked to call the FBI at (312) 421-6700.
Witnesses have described the “Wheaton Bandit” as a white male, 25 – 35 years of age, 5’ 10” – 6’ 2” tall, medium build, with blue eyes. He has worn different clothing in each robbery and has always used a hood or ski mask to help conceal his identity. He is possibly left handed and has been armed with a semi-automatic handgun during each of the robberies, which he has used to threaten bank employees and customers. He is also thought to have prior law enforcement or military training due to the way he handled the weapon.
This case is being investigated by a task force consisting of FBI special agents and detectives from the Carol Stream, Geneva, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, Wheaton, and Winfield Police Departments.
Additional information about this and other recent Chicago area bank robberies, including downloadable photographs, is available at the Bandit Tracker website, www.bandittrackerchicago.com.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Copies of the below flyers are available from the Chicago FBI’s press office at (312) 829-1199.