The FBI dubbed him the “Ray-Bandit” for his sunglasses disguise, and authorities say he’s been caught after robbing more than a dozen banks, including three in the Quad-Cities.

Jeremy Evans, 30, of Carol Stream, Ill., was arrested last week in a car matching the description of one used during a holdup moments earlier of a bank in Elgin, police said.

The FBI and Quad-City area law enforcement agencies are investigating whether Evans is linked with 17 bank robberies in seven states.

“Our investigators are in contact with the FBI,” Bettendorf Police Chief Phil Redington said. “At this time, it appears that there is a strong possibility that he was involved in our Valley Bank/Hy-Vee robbery on Sept. 14.”

The FBI think he’s the same man who robbed the Wells Fargo Bank inside the Hy-Vee store at 4218 Avenue of the Cities, Moline, on Aug. 20; the Valley Bank branch inside the Hy-Vee store at Devils Glen Road, Bettendorf, on Sept. 14; and an American Bank and Trust branch inside the Hy-Vee store at 201 10th Ave. W., Milan, on Sept. 26.

Detective Scott Williams, Moline police public information officer, said his department’s investigation has been handed over to the FBI.

Evans is believed to have stolen more than $75,000 from 17 banks since last summer in Illinois, California, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Virginia.

Local police described the robber as white, in his 20s, approximately 5-feet, 10-inches tall, 220 to 240 pounds, blond or light-brown hair and clean-shaven. He appeared in the Milan store wearing a tan or khaki hat, maroon or dark red hoodie and sunglasses.

He drove a tan or gray Hyundai Elantra GLS model (2001-03), with a rear spoiler and a broken passenger-side brake light, the FBI said, adding he used this vehicle in most of the bank robberies.

He has worn disguises, including fake beards and false teeth and is known to dye his hair different colors, the FBI says. He also may have a gap in his front teeth.

He always wore something on his fingertips, either Band-Aids or rubber thimbles, the FBI says.

In some of the robberies, he used a small slip of paper typewritten as a demand note, the FBI says.

That robber has been nicknamed the “Ray Bandit” because he wore Ray-Ban sunglasses during the holdups.

Evans is charged with one count of bank robbery related to the Elgin holdup and is jailed without bond.

His attorney, Donna Hickstein-Foley, did not return a message seeking comment Tuesday.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)


EARLIER STORY: ST. LOUIS — A man dubbed the ``Ray Bandit'' for the distinctive Ray-Ban sunglasses authorities say he wore during a string of 17 bank robberies in seven states has been captured and jailed without bond, the FBI said.

Jeremy Evans, 30, of Carol Stream, Ill., was arrested Jan. 15 in a car matching the description of one used during a holdup moments earlier at a bank in Elgin, near Chicago. Elgin police found $4,812 taken from the bank and a BB gun inside the Toyota Camry, FBI Special Agent Anthony Reeves wrote in an affidavit.

Evans has been charged in Chicago with one federal count of bank robbery and ordered held by U.S. marshals pending a detention hearing Wednesday. He is suspected in robberies from Virginia to California, and additional charges are expected as FBI agents track Evans' recent travels and sort through unsolved bank heists, said Robert Ramsey, a supervisory special agent with the FBI office in Indianapolis.

``We are confident he's responsible for these 17 (holdups), and that list may be growing,'' Ramsey said Tuesday.

Evans' attorney, Donna Hickstein-Foley, didn't immediately return a message left Tuesday.

The FBI announced Evans' arrest Monday, identifying the 5-foot-11, 230-pound man as the ``Ray Bandit'' who netted more than $75,000 since last summer from banks in Illinois, California, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Virginia.

Authorities say the robbery spree began July 30 at the Community State Bank in Salem, Wis., followed by robberies the next month in the Indiana cities of Munster and Hammond. Then the bandit hit banks in Moline, Ill., Janesville, Wis., and the St. Louis suburbs of Collinsville and Edwardsville, Ill.

Similar robberies were reported in September in Bettendorf, Iowa, and Milan, Ill., then in October in Omaha, Neb. The spree stretched to California in November with bank holdups in Upland and Glendora before two banks were robbed the next month near Richmond, Va.

Ramsey said he didn't know what may have driven Evans to rob but authorities grew increasingly worried about the way the threats to tellers ``really started to progress in a spectrum of violence.''

During earlier robberies, the bandit handed a bank employee a note demanding money and suggesting he had a gun. Then he got bolder, and by the California holdups he insisted he had a bomb. During the Elgin heist that led to Evans' arrest, Ramsey said, the bandit actually displayed a firearm.


EARLIER STORY: CHICAGO  — The FBI says a man dubbed the “Ray Bandit” for the distinctive sunglasses he allegedly wore during 17 bank robberies in seven states, including three in the Quad-Cities, is in custody in Chicago.

Authorities say Jeremy Evans of Carol Stream, Ill., was arrested last week in a car matching the description of one used during a holdup moments earlier of a bank in Elgin.

The FBI says Evans is believed to have absconded with more than $75,000 from 17 banks since last summer in Illinois, California, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Virginia.

That robber has been nicknamed the “Ray Bandit” because he wore Ray-Ban sunglasses during the holdups.

Evans is charged with one count of bank robbery and is jailed without bond.

His attorney, Donna Hickstein-Foley, hasn’t returned a message seeking comment Tuesday.

The FBI believe he's the same man that robbed the Wells Fargo Bank inside the Hy-Vee store at 4218 Avenue of the Cities, Moline, on Aug. 20; the Valley Bank branch inside the Hy-Vee store at Devils Glen Road, Bettendorf, on Sept. 14; and an American Bank and Trust branch inside the Hy-Vee store at 201 10th Ave. West, Milan, on Sept. 26.


EARLIER REPORT: The Chicago Tribune is reporting this morning on its website that a man believed to be the Ray Bandit has been arrested after a  bank robbery in Elgin, Ill.

Jeremy Evans of Carol Stream, Ill., was arrested Jan. 15, just after a robbery was reported at the Old Second National Bank in Elgin, according to the news report.

The FBI said Monday Evans matches the description of a man believed to have taken more than $75,000 from 17 banks since late July in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, California, Virginia, including the Quad-Cities.

More to follow.


FBI ties 'Ray-Bandit' to bank heists in the Midwest, 3 in the Q-C

From the Dec. 14, 2012 Quad-City Times: The FBI dubbed him the “Ray-Bandit,” and authorities say he’s robbed more than a dozen banks, including several in the Quad-Cities.

The unknown serial bank robber is linked to 14 robberies in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Nebraska, California and Virginia.

He’s the same man linked to three bank heists inside Quad-City Hy-Vee grocery stores, Sandra Breault of the FBI’s Omaha Division told the Quad-City Times.

He robbed the Wells Fargo Bank inside the Hy-Vee store at 4218 Avenue of the Cities, Moline, on Aug. 20; the Valley Bank branch inside the Hy-Vee store at Devils Glen Road, Bettendorf, on Sept. 14; and an American Bank and Trust branch inside the Hy-Vee store at 201 10th Ave. West, Milan, on Sept. 26.

Local police described the robber as white, in his 20s, approximately 5-feet, 10-inches tall, 220 to 240 pounds, blond or light-brown hair and clean-shaven. He appeared in the Milan store wearing a tan or khaki hat, maroon or dark red hoodie and sunglasses.

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

The "Ray-Bandit" is not considered a suspect in the recent bank robbery Sherrard, Ill.

Contact the Quad-City FBI office at 309-764-9559.