(STMW) — A west suburban 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 coming months, he allegedly robbed a bank in Munster, Ind.; Hammond, Ind.; Moline, Ill.; Janesville, Wis.; Collinsville, 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 U.S. 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, and he jumped the counter towards 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.

Elgin police stopped the vehicle a few minutes later. 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.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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