FBI nabs suspected Fifth Third Bank robbers in foot chase

Chris Kirk

FBI agents arrested three Chicago men suspected of robbing three local banks last week, the bureau announced Monday.

Although the men are only facing charges in a Feb. 20 armed takeover of Evanston’s Fifth Third Bank, 2440 Main St., the trio has been linked to similar robberies of Oak Lawn’s Suburban Bank & Trust, 10350 S. Cicero Ave., and Skokie’s Chase Bank, 4200 W. Dempster St., according to an FBI press release. Those robberies occurred within a span of three hours Feb. 16.

The three men allegedly burst into the Evanston bank at 4:07 p.m., Evanston Police Department Cmdr. Tom Guenther said. One man hopped the counter, wielding a handgun.

The robber ordered all bank personnel and customers to lie on the floor. He then instructed an employee to open the teller drawers and stole an undetermined amount of cash. No shots were fired and no one was hurt.

Meanwhile, FBI agents were conducting surveillance in the robbers’ suspected hideout, on the 7100 block of S. May Street in Chicago, according to the release. A tipster led agents to the location and described the robbers’ getaway vehicle after hearing about the Oak Lawn and Skokie robberies.

Agents saw a vehicle matching the informant’s description at about 6 p.m. When they approached the vehicle, two suspects led FBI agents on a foot chase, while another man drove away.

The brief chase ended when the alleged robbers’ car came to a stop after crashing into an FBI vehicle and several parked cars. No one was injured.

Authorities charged Kim Evans, 38, Corley Smith, 27, and Dezmond Swanson, 21, with the Evanston robbery Feb. 23.

They are being held without bail. If convicted, the men could face as much as 20 years in prison.

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