‘Wheaton Bandit’ Bank Robber To Get Away With Crimes

WHEATON, Ill. (CBS) — The Wheaton bandit is now officially off the hook, but the FBI says that doesn’t mean the case is closed.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, at midnight, the statute of limitations expired on the 16 robberies blamed on the single serial robber, who preyed on suburban banks and credit unions between January 2002 and December 2006.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports

His modus operandi was to walk into a bank wearing a mask and point a gun right away at employees or customers as he demanded money from tellers. He parked his car about a block away so no one at the bank could see him leave.

He hit banks in Wheaton, Carols Stream, Winfield, Glen Ellyn, Naperville and Geneva.

FBI spokesman Ross Rice says the bureau may never know why the string of holdups suddenly stopped, although there are plenty of theories.

He believes the robber most likely became afraid police were closing in.

“Others think that he may have been in the military and got called to active duty and is overseas. Others think he might have been incarcerated on an unrelated charge,” Rice said. “We just don’t know.”

In any event, unless the Wheaton Bandit starts robbing banks again, he is now beyond the reach of the law.

Still, Rice says investigators will pursue any new leads that might come in.

“We would like to put an end to the case,” he said. “We would like to be able to say we know who did it.”

The FBI had been offering a $50,000 reward in hopes that a suspect could be caught before the statute of limitations ran out.

  • Just Checking

    He was a thief yesterday, but he’s not today? I don’t get the point of statutes of limitations. Can someone explain?

    • Dennis

      This guy was a bank robbing genius! As far as statute of limitations, there has to be a point when a person can finally say, Ha, I got away with it!!!

  • Dumb Law

    For some dumb reason, Federal statute of limitations for bank robbery is 5 years. some states may have different laws, but IL has this one. That law needs to change.

    If the bank that was allegedly robbed was a federally chartered bank, a member of the Federal Reserve, or a bank insured by the FDIC (in other words, almost any bank), then robbing it is a federal offense (18 U.S.C. Sec. 2113). Thus, the Statute of Limitations would be governed by 18 U.S.C. Sec. 3032(a), which says “Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, no person shall be prosecuted, tried, or punished for any offense, not capital, unless the indictment is found or the information is instituted within five years next after such offense shall have been committed.”

    Note that once the defendant is indicted, the statute of limitations clock stops ticking, whether that person is “in custody” or not.

    Note also that by robbing a bank, the defendant may be guilty of crimes under state law, which will be subject to a different statute of limitations.

  • Jim Hamilton

    The statute of limitations was inacted in part so police officers and prosecutors don’t get bogged down with old crimes and lets them focus more on the new ones if a crime is deamed so violent and heinus then statutes of limitations don’t apply. Statutes also give a bit of drive to the system as to say get off your ass and get these guys or miss your chance.

    Now one thing you can be sure of is the criminals are armed and they are looking for any target of opportunity.

    Support HB 148 Your Right To Carry The crooks are already armed and they are looking for you!


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