GPS monitoring technology helped nab robber accused in string of crimes, police say

MADISON, Wis. - GPS technology helped police arrest a 29-year-old Fitchburg man for his alleged involvement in a series of bank robberies, according to a document filed in Dane County court. 

Jonathon L. Thompson is facing a charge of felony party to the crime of robbery in connection with the robbery at the Associated Bank on Allen Boulevard in Middleton on Feb. 19

Thompson was in court Tuesday morning for an initial appearance on the charge and cash bond was set at $500,000, according to online records. He was ordered not to be at any federally insured banks or credit unions. He was also ordered not to possess any type of dangerous weapon while on bail. 

According to a criminal complaint filed Thursday, police believe Thompson was driving the getaway vehicle parked by the bank. Surveillance images from the building across the street and another nearby building show Thompson driving a vehicle that the suspected robber got into after the bank was robbed. A week after the robbery, an officer spotted a car matching the description of the suspect vehicle, which was later traced back to a relative of Thompson’s, police said. 

Police said Thompson was on GPS monitoring as a condition of bail in an unrelated case during the Associated Bank robbery. Thompson’s GPS coordinates from an ankle bracelet placed him in the 6300 Block of Maywood Avenue at the same time the bank was robbed. 

Police also compared the GPS monitoring information to other Dane County bank robberies in January and February, and found he was in the area in connection with eight robberies from Jan. 26 through Feb. 22. 

At a news conference Friday, Madison police announced Thompson's arrest, along with the arrest of 18-year-old Kiefah A. Marbra. Madison police Chief Mike Koval called the string of robberies in the area "unprecedented," adding that the arrests mark a "significant setback and a blow" to the group believed to be responsible for the robberies, which included Thompson and Marbra. 

A preliminary hearing was scheduled at 1:30 p.m. on March 13.

On Friday, police announced the tentative charge of armed robbery against Marbra, but as of Tuesday afternoon, an initial appearance had not yet been scheduled. 

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