6:04 PM CST, February 8, 2012
A suspect the FBI dubbed the 'Wicker Park Bandit' who is suspected of holding up at least 10 banks on the North Side was charged today with one count of bank robbery.
Simeon Harris, 27, of the 2600 block of South Indiana Avenue, was arrested Tuesday night at his home and ordered held without bail today in federal court.
Harris was linked to the Jan. 16 robbery of the North Community Bank branch located at 448 N. Wells St. after he tried to pick up items inside the get-away car at a city auto pound, according to a complaint filed in federal court.
About 10 a.m. on Jan. 16, a man walked into the bank and gave a teller a piece of paper that stated, "give me your hundreds and fifties, don't press the button," according to court documents. The teller handed over about $1,000.
A witness said they saw Harris flee the scene in a maroon-colored SUV with temporary license plates, according to the FBI.
Shortly before 5 p.m. Jan. 29, police stopped Harris, who was driving a maroon 2001 Chevrolet Blazer with a temporary license plate, on the 4700 block of West Roosevelt Road, the FBI said.
When officers approached the vehicle Harris stated, "Come on officers, I only got one bag of weed in the car," police said. He was arrested for possession of marijuana and his vehicle was impounded, police said.
On Jan. 30, a FBI agent saw Harris at the auto pound trying to retrieve items from the vehicle, according to court records.
According to court records, Harris wanted to collect his personal property, but when the auto pound employee told him the policy that an inventory had to be taken of the items, he left the property at the pound, the FBI said.
Investigators searched the vehicle on Feb. 1 and found a black hooded sweatshirt, a black hat, black gloves and a camera containing pictures of money, the FBI said.
When reviewing surveillance footage, the clothing items appeared to match the same clothes worn by the culprit during the bank robbery, the FBI said.
Harris was arrested Tuesday night at his home and appeared Wednesday in court, where he was ordered held without bail, officials said.
The FBI said Harris is suspected in but has not been charged in the other nine bank robberies that took place between Dec. 13, 2011 and Jan. 28 in various banks on the city's North Side.
If convicted, Harris faces up to 20 years in prison.
Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC