Police seek public’s help to catch serial bank robber

Robber targeted West Side, Middleton banks
Police seek public’s help to catch serial bank robber

Madison police are asking for the public’s help to stop a brazen bank robber who is responsible for nearly a dozen heists in the Madison area.

Police said that the latest robbery was last Friday on Madison’s West Side.

Investigator s said that what’s unusual about this thief is how often he’s striking. They said that often times, bank robbers will strike more than once but typically months apart. The robber has been striking weeks — even days — apart, they said.

Madison police aren’t the only ones investigating a string of robberies. Authorities said that they believe he is responsible for bank heists in Madison, Middleton, Rock County and even Dubuque, Iowa. The suspect has hit eight times in the last month alone, they said.

Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain said that the thief follows a similar pattern.

“He hands a note in every case,” said DeSpain “In many of these cases, we have surveillance photos of a getaway vehicle: a silver Toyota Corolla with a sunroof. I think they’ve nailed that down now to being between a 2002 and 2008 Toyota Corolla.”

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Rose Oswald Poels, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Bankers Association, said her industry has taken note of the crimes.

“Unfortunately, bank robberies are a risk that comes with financial institutions opening its doors everyday,” said Oswald Poels.

Oswald Poels said while there’s no such thing as banks being on a high alert, this recent rash of incidents has definitely created more awareness.

“We are always vigilant, and always conscious that something could happen at any day, at any time,” Oswald Poels said.

Police are hoping the public becomes more aware of the string of robberies as well. Investigators said that they believe the man lives on Madison’s West Side or Middleton. This is because they’ve been ready for him when he strikes and he’s still been able to slip through their fingers.

“In the last couple of bank robberies on the West Side of Madison, we’ve had officers getting in lots of different areas quickly to look for that car, and the guy vapors . He’s gone,” DeSpain said.

About half of the robberies have happened on the city’s West Side and Middleton. Police also say that he might live in or have access to a place with underground parking, making it easier to hide from officers.

Authorities are reminding everyone if they recognize the robber, or the vehicle he’s been driving, to call police.

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