Police link bank robber to tobacco shop murders

The robber at the Chase Bank branch Monday.

Evanston police say Kevin Ross, the bank robber shot and killed by police Monday, is now the primary suspect in the double murder at the Evanston Pipe & Tobacco Shop last July.

Cmdr. Jay Parrott says when police searched Ross's residence in south Evanston they located a storage locker he was using that contained the identification of Mobeen Hakeem and the social security card of Azim Hakeem, the tobacco shop murder victims.

Police outside the Evanston Pipe & Tobacco Shop the morning after the murders last July.

They also recovered a .22 caliber shell casing of a unique brand that was consistent with the shell casings found at the murder scene in the tobacco shop in the 900 block of Davis Street.  The shell casing will be sent to the Illinois State Police crime lab for a comparison to the shell casings found at the crime scene.  

Police also located a receipt from last May for a purchase of a cigar from the pipe and tobacco shop on Davis Street which indicates Ross had been in the shop before the murders.

Police also found an assault rifle leading to the discovery of  a purchase made at a Chicago area gun shop by Ross last June of a .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol, the same type of weapon used to commit the murders.

Police are attempting to locate the weapon through a possible resale by Ross to other gun shops in the Chicago area.  

Parrott says Ross had no prior arrests by police that were known in Illinois and possessed a valid FOID which allowed for the lawful purchase of his firearms and ammunition.

It is known that Ross lived for a short time in Florida, Parrott says, and police and the FBI are looking into the possibility Ross may have been involved in other criminal activity outside of Illinois.

Police have Ross’s computer and will be examining it for further leads and a possible motive for the murders.

The FBI has also linked Ross to four other Chicago-area bank robberies over the past few months -- including one at the same Chase Bank branch in Evanston last September.

Comments

Anyone want to defend the robber and criticize the police now?

So it appears that the gun-toting bank robber was likely the murderer of two Evanston residents. A matching shell casing at his home and a receipt from the smoke shop seem to be strong evidence of the bank robber's involvement in those two murders.

The police were more than justified in taking the action that they did when they shot him. And now, it appears that the police's actions stopped a killer from hurting or killing anyone else.

Good Work EPD

Looks like another good job by the Evanston Police Department. Too bad that Ross forced a shoot out. I would have liked to see him at the murder trial.

Once again, we have proof that the EPD is one of the best in the metropolitan area.

Best?

You're calling them the best because they lucked out on solving that murder? If this guy didn't rob a bank the police would still have no clue. From the lack of updates it seems like they hoped people would forget about it. Don't call then the best for solving something that fell into their lap.

Not luck -- good police work

I have had reason to be critical of the Evanston police but I agree that they did a good job this time.

Following up on the bank robber, they identified and searched a storage locker and found two small pieces of plastic or paper (ID and a driver's license), found a small scrap of paper (a receipt), and located and recognized as significant a unique brand of .22 caliber shell.

Fell in their lap would have been a signed confession handed to them with the murder weapon rolled up inside. They had to do some highly credible police work to get where they are. I assume that they found more and they are waiting for more testing and they are still working to track the .22 that the robber apparently sold. Also, they have probably returned to the tobacco shop as well. And they are probably doing more digging into the robber's whereabouts on the day of the double murders -- looking at credit card bills, ATM transactions, medical visits, nearby store's inside surveillance cameras, etc.

Despite good or great police work, crimes sometimes go unsolved or take many years to solve. It is good to hear that this Evanston double murder may likely be solved within months of being committed.

Great Job

Yes occasionally the police get lucky as it appears in this case. That being said it will take a tremendous amount of investigation to bring this case to a conclusion. The Evanston Police and it's NORTAF partners have some of the finest investigators in the Chicago Metro area. I am confident no stone will go unturned during the course of the investigation. So yes Raul (not verified) they are the best.

Luck is ...

Thomas Jefferson said, "I am a great believer in luck, and I find the hard I work, the more I have of it." Bravo, EPD. And thank you.