Zion Man Tied to Series of Waukegan Bank Robberies Facing Federal Charge
A Zion man suspected of committing three Waukegan bank robberies has been arrested and charged in connection with one of those robberies. The arrest and charge were announced today by Robert J. Holley, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the FBI, and Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
Eric D. Fulton, 53, of the 3200 block of Eshcol Avenue in Zion, was taken into federal custody this morning and charged in a criminal complaint filed this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Chicago with one count of bank robbery, a felony offense, in connection with the June 27, 2014 robbery of the NorStates Bank branch located at 3233 Grand Avenue in Waukegan. According to the complaint, a robber entered the bank just before 3:00 p.m. that day and made a threatening demand to a bank teller for money, implying that he had a weapon. After receiving money from the teller’s drawer, the robber left the bank and was seen leaving the bank in a dark minivan, according to the complaint.
Although not charged, Fulton is also a suspect in two other non-takeover robberies at another NorStates Bank branch location in Waukegan. The two robberies occurred on June 21 and July 5, 2014, at the branch at 1601 N. Lewis Federal Bureau of Investigation-Chicago Field Office Avenue and were carried out in a manner similar to the June 27 robbery. A bank customer present during the July 5 robbery told law enforcement that the robber appeared to be a person the customer knew to frequent the area near Grand Avenue and Butrick Street in Waukegan.
On Monday, Waukegan Police Department detectives were in the area of Grand Avenue and Butrick Street and, after showing bank surveillance photos from the three robberies to individuals in the area, were directed to an alley behind Butrick Street. The detectives located an individual matching the description of the robber in a dark green Nissan Quest minivan in the alley and, after a brief pursuit, arrested Fulton without incident. He was turned over to the FBI this morning. Fulton appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary M. Rowland, who ordered Fulton held pending his next court appearance, which is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Thursday.
If convicted of the charge filed against him, Fulton faces a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
In making the announcement today, Mr. Holley thanked the Waukegan Police Department for their significant assistance in the investigation of the robberies and in locating Fulton and making the arrest yesterday.
The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt and that all defendants in a criminal case are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.