Suspected "Wicker Park Bandit" Arrested, Held Without Bond

Man believed to be responsible for up to 10 bank robberies in Wicker Park was arrested Tuesday

Wednesday, Feb 8, 2012  |  Updated 9:53 PM CDT
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Suspected "Wicker Park Bandit" Arrested

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Authorities said Wednesday they'd arrested a Chicago man they believe is responsible for robbing as many as 10 banks in and around the near west side Wicker Park neighborhood.

Simeon Harris, 27, of the 2600 block of South Indiana Avenue, appeared before Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez and was ordered held without bond, pending his next court appearance. He was arrested outside his home Tuesday evening by the Chicago FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force, the bureau said in a news release.

Harris was named last week in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court with one count of bank robbery in connection with the Jan. 16 holdup of the North Community Bank branch at 448 North Wells St, authorities said.

According to that complaint, Harris was linked to the robbery by an eyewitness who said they saw him drive away in a maroon-colored SUV with temporary Illinois plates.

A vehicle matching that description was impounded by Chicago Police a few days later after a traffic stop and drug arrest, a release from the FBI said.

Though not charged, Harris remains a suspect in several other robberies attributed to the "Wicker Park Bandit," including:

  • Dec. 13, Chase Bank branch, 1700 North Wells;
  • Dec. 20 North Community Bank branch, 2335 North Clark;
  • Dec. 22 PNC Bank branch, 4440 North Broadway;
  • Dec. 30 Chase Bank branch, 1350 North Wells;
  • Jan. 6 North Community Bank branch, 1555 N. Damen;
  • Jan. 6 North Community Bank branch, 1600 West Chicago Avenue;
  • Jan. 9 Chase Bank branch, 1200 North State Parkway;
  • Jan. 21 Chase Bank branch, 71 West Chicago Avenue;

In all of the robberies, witnesses said a lone robber approached a teller with a handwritten note asking for cash. He did not show any weapons or make any threats, and no injuries were reported in any of the incidents.

If convicted of the charge filed against him Wednesday, he faces up to 20 years om prison.

Last year a man known as the Wheaton Bandit was able to get away with 16 robberies after the statute of limitations expired before authorities could catch him.

BanditTrackerChicago.com

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