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Police link bank robber to tobacco shop murders

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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.

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