He’s now a suspect in 4 violent crimes that took place over 48 hours, but Anthony “Bones” Jefferson isn’t coming back to South Bend without a fight. The 43-year-old will remain in Illinois until he can be formally extradited.
The U.S. Marshals service and SWAT captured the murder, kidnapping and robbery suspect after a 4 hour standoff Thursday night at an apartment building in Rockford, Illinois.
Sources confirmed to WSBT Friday that Jefferson is now a prime suspect in a recent jewelry heist in Elkhart.
That’s one of four incidents that spanned from Elkhart to Mishawaka and South Bend, putting the community on edge.
“It’s really terrifying,” said Brookfield Street resident Savannah Gaines. “That was really nerve-wrecking. My daughter and I weren’t outside as much, just thinking about somebody that actually would kill somebody.”
It’s been a rough week for her neighborhood on South Bend’s northwest side.
“All of us have felt quite upset, uneasy ever since [the murder and attempted murder,]” said Doc Rushing, who lives a few doors down from where the incident happened.
But news that Jefferson is finally in police custody after four days on the run also brought welcome relief to the area.
According to sources, Jefferson’s violent crime spree started at Images Jewelers in Elkhart around noon on Saturday, Sept. 28. Police said 3 black men and a black woman displayed a gun and got away with an undisclosed amount of jewelry. No one was hurt in the incident.
An images employee told WSBT the store had “no comment” but when a reporter went inside Thursday, glass was missing from several cases.
Then around 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept.29, police said Jefferson abducted a woman and her son from an ATM on North Main Street in Mishawaka. He apparently took the woman’s car keys, forced her to withdraw $200 before driving him somewhere else. Her 11-year-old son was also in the car the whole time. Jefferson later let them go, court documents said.
Around 2:50 a.m. Monday, Sept. 30, court documents say Jefferson threw hot coffee in a 7-11 convenience store clerk's face in South Bend before stealing money and cigarettes.
About two hours later at 5:15 a.m., investigators say Jefferson shot and killed Jason Reid and injured another man at a home in the 600 block of North Brookfield Street in South Bend.
“We feel delighted that the guy’s in custody, not only to keep another bad guy out of circulation but also to bring him to justice,” Rushing said.
Jefferson is charged with murder, attempted murder, criminal confinement and robbery in St. Joseph County. He has not been charged or officially named a suspect in the Elkhart jewelry store robbery. Elkhart Police also have not confirmed he is a suspect in the case, but other sources are confirming it to WSBT.
It’s not clear how soon he could be back here to answer to the allegations against him. St. Joseph County Prosecutor Mike Dvorak said Friday that his office is already taking the proper steps to have documentation forwarded to Indiana’s Attorney General by early next week. Generally the extradition process can take between 30 and 60 days.
After going through the state attorney general, it must be signed by Governor Pence.
Jefferson is due back in court in Winnebago County, Ill. October 11. The Winnebago State’s Attorney told WSBT he does not anticipate filing charges against Jefferson after Thursday’s SWAT standoff.