Federal prosecutors have filed charges against a Zion man who they believe committed seven bank robberies in Chicago and the suburbs over the past 11 months.
Haris Matchalovas, 39, is formally charged with only one robbery, at a Huntington Bank just across the city limits in Evanston. But an FBI agent laid out details of seven hold-ups. Officials believe he took:
- $4,118 from BMO Harris, 3113 North Lewis Avenue in Waukegan, on November 24, 2021
- $13,525 from Parkway Bank, 39 North Morgan Street, on February 18
- $7.973 from Huntington Bank, 9449 Skokie Boulevard in Skokie, on March 3
- $1,843 from Fifth Third Bank, 837 West North Avenue, on April 22
- $5,866 from Huntington Bank, 4042 West Foster Avenue, on May 10
- $2,166 from Huntington Bank, 4355 North Sheridan Road, on June 11
- $318 from Huntington Bank, 2485 West Howard Street in Evanston, on August 3
Matchalovas wore a surgical or cloth mask each time, carried a backpack, and wore distinctive grey gloves. The FBI agent said in a federal complaint that he displayed a knife in five robberies.
Among the evidence that allegedly links Matchalovas to the robberies, according to the FBI agent’s complaint:
- Three getaway cars used in the hold-ups are registered to his parents
- His phone pinged near each of the robbery sites within ten minutes of each crime
- He wore a t-shirt “with the word ‘Champion’ written all over it” to the August 3 robbery, and the same shirt is seen in his Illinois driver’s license photo
Matchalovas began some of the robberies by making small talk, such as asking how much money was needed to open an account.
“Hello, ladies. I would like to make a withdrawal,” he told another bank’s tellers, “Give me your money.”
But Matchalovas threatened violence during some of the robberies.
“Do you want me to stab everyone in here?” he allegedly warned a teller at the North Avenue branch while brandishing a large knife. “Give me all your f*cking money.”
The FBI agent said that Matchalovas stole five cases of cognac from a Costco in the north suburban town of Mettawa about 40 minutes after the robbery on August 3. Store surveillance footage showed that he was still wearing the Champion t-shirt.