Bank robbery suspects appear in federal court

Both suspects waive preliminary hearings
Bank robbery suspects appear in federal court

The couple arrested in a string of Madison bank robberies appeared in federal court Thursday.

FBI agents arrested Michael Benike, 29, and Tara Thousand, 25, last Friday in Mount Horeb. They face six counts related to bank robberies in Madison and around Dane County.

The two “knowingly took by force, violence and intimidation” money from six banks over the last few months, according to a criminal complaint.

Both waived their right to a preliminary hearing, so the case against them will move forward.

Benike will remain in police custody, while Thousand could be moved to a drug treatment program.

According to the criminal complaint, she admitted the couple was robbing banks to pay for heroin. 

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