The hunt for a suspect whose multistate crime spree landed him on an FBI Most Wanted List came to an end once investigators arrested him more than five months after he allegedly robbed a bank in Moorhead, Minn.
Robert V. Evans, 51, of Volga, W.Va., was arrested Friday in Marietta, Ohio, by the U.S. Marshals Service. On May 1, Evans allegedly held up a Gate City Bank branch inside a Hornbacher's grocery store in Moorhead that netted him about $3,600.
Evans also is accused by the FBI and other agencies of robbing another bank in New York state before the Moorhead holdup and then keeping up his thieving ways until his arrest, including auto and boat theft in North Carolina and a break-in theft of power generators from an Ohio retailer.
This arrest "underscores that the FBI has a long memory and a broad reach and works well with our law enforcement partners to make arrests like this one," Kevin W. Smith, spokesman for the FBI in Minnesota, said Tuesday.
The FBI's wanted poster warned in bright red letters that Evans should be considered armed, dangerous and possibly suicidal. It lists 19 aliases that he has used over the years that often vary greatly from his true identity. Among them: John Hill, Carlton Utter and Donald E. Couch.
"Evans is known to steal cars from car lots by 'test driving' them," said a crime alert from law enforcement in his more familiar territory along the Ohio-West Virginia border. "He steals plates from other vehicles to put on the stolen vehicles. … Evans likes to be around water (boating/fishing) and drinks Monster Energy."
The criminal complaint in the Moorhead robbery calls Evans "a habitual offender with a history of criminal offenses that include auto theft, escape, and weapons charges stemming as far back as the late 1980s."
According to the complaint:
Evans gave the teller a note that demanded money and also said "I have a gun." Evans reached toward his waistband at one point but stopped short of displaying a weapon. He left the bank and drove off in an SUV he had stolen about a week earlier in Story City, Iowa, after abandoning a car he stole earlier in West Virginia.
Two days earlier, Evans was allegedly spotted on video casing for a potential robbery another Moorhead bank, the First International Bank and Trust, but he didn't go through with it.
The Marshals Service looked at Gate City bank surveillance videos and recognized Evans as being wanted for violating parole in West Virginia in connection with grand larceny and burglary.
This latest string of crimes reaches back to at least Feb. 13, when Evans allegedly robbed a Key Bank in Niagara Falls, N.Y. And as he allegedly later did in Moorhead, Evans handed a teller a note demanding money. He left with $786.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482's