Authorities are asking for Chicagoans help in identifying a serial armed robber who’s been nicknamed the “Wheaton Bandit.” The unidentified man is a possible suspect for at least 16 take-over bank robberies that have taken place since 2002.
The Chicago office of the FBI announced that the reward, previously $45,000, has been raised, now up to $50,000 for information that leads to the suspect’s identification and arrest. Throughout the years of successful robberies, no one has been injured. So far, the strongest lead came prior to an armed robbery of a Fifth Third branch in Winfield; a person believed at the time that they’d seen the man without a mask covering his face.
Another break in the case shows surveillance video of someone who authorities are naming a person of interest; a person who was not a banking customer entered a bank in Glen Ellyn. Bank employees at Mid America Bank did not recognize the man, and he was never seen again. That is, until the bank was later robbed in 2004.
It appears that the unknown man and the Wheaton bandit have similar physical characteristics. The FBI’s criminal investigation includes detectives from Carol Stream, Geneva, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, Wheaton and Winfield police departments. The list of banks below are ones in which the Wheaton Bandit is suspected:
- 1/14/2002 6:25am West Suburban Bank, 295 West Loop Rd. Wheaton, IL
- 1/3/2003 6:46am West Suburban Bank, 221 S. West St. Wheaton, IL
- 1/11/2003 6:37am West Suburban Bank, 295 West Loop Rd. Wheaton, IL
- 1/28/2003 5:21pm West Suburban Bank, 221 S. West St. Wheaton, IL
- 2/12/2003 8:35am West Suburban Bank, 879 Geneva Rd., Carol Stream, IL
- 3/4/2003 10:40am West Suburban Bank, 221 S. West St., Wheaton
- 5/10/2003 11:23am LaSalle Bank, 225 W. Front St., Wheaton
- 8/28/2003 2:55pm Harris Bank, 4 Blanchard Cir., Wheaton
- 1/22/2004 5:41pm Healthcare Assoc. Credit Union, 27W460 Chicago Ave., Winfield, IL
- 7/22/2004 3:00pm Oakbrook Bank, 487 Pennsylvania Ave., Glen Ellyn, IL
- 1/14/2005 5:35pm Mid America Bank, 674 Roosevelt Road, Glen Ellyn
- 11/28/2005 Harris Bank, Washington and Aurora streets in Naperville, Illinois
- 1/31/2006 6:06 pm Glen Ellyn Bank and Trust, 462 N. Park Blvd., Glen Ellyn
- 11/29/2006 4:50 pm Fifth Third Bank, 1N111 County Farm Rd., Winfield
- 12/1/2006 6:15 pm Charter One Bank, 421 Hamilton, Geneva, IL
- 12/7/2007 5:00 pm Glen Ellyn Bank & Trust, 462 N. Park Blvd, Glen Ellyn
The Wheaton Bandit is described as a blue-eyed white male, between the ages of 25 and 35, between 5′ 10″ and 6′ 2″ in height with a medium build. If anyone has information, the FBI is requesting to be notified at 312-421-6700.