Authorities ramp up investigation into violent bank robbery

Given violent nature of robbery, there is concern robbers will hit another business
Authorities ramp up investigation into violent bank robbery

The images of two masked bank robbers pointing guns at the heads of employees of the Peoples Community Bank in Plain and the extreme actions the bank robbers took after getting the money help to explain why authorities are ramping up their investigation.

“The most terrible part of this really is at the very end when they had money, instead of leaving they had the employees go in a corner and sprayed them with some liquid believed to be pepper spray,” said Rose Oswald Poels, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Bankers Association.

All three bank employees were transported to Sauk Prairie Hospital where they were treated and released. The physical injuries from the robbery are not the only things those bank employees are dealing with.

“Any employee who goes through a bank robbery of any kind is traumatized for life and certainly in this instance these individuals are in the same situation, and I know they are getting help and that’s what we would want for them,” Oswald Poels said.

Given the violent nature of the bank robbery the Wisconsin Bankers Association and the Peoples Community Bank of Mazomanie are offering up to a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individuals involved in the robbery. The size of that reward is a reflection of the urgency to catch the bank robbers and prevent them from doing this again.

“This one was particularly violent which I think is really why the reward money is as large as it is,” Oswald Poels said.

Given the brazen and violent nature of the bank robbery in Plain, there is concern the two will hit another business.

“My gut reaction is that they are desperate and they might be willing to try this again,” said Brian Landers, a former police lieutenant and chair of the Criminal Justice Department at Madison College.

Landers believes that given the willingness to use violence during the robbery in Plain, it is important that they are found sooner than later.

“I do actually think these people are going to get caught. It is upwards of mid-90 percent that when people commit an armed robbery or bank robbery that they are caught, so not many people get away with a bank robbery,” Landers said.

The investigation into the robbery is being conducted by the Sauk County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with investigators with the FBI.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Sauk County Sheriff’s Office by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-888-TIP-SAUK. Callers may be eligible for a reward and can remain anonymous.