Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

Police still looking for bank robber

by Lisa Seiser

October 20, 2011

Police officers armed with rifles stood guard next to their patrol cars at the intersections along Wisconsin Street for more than an hour Monday afternoon.

That was where Lake Geneva police set up a perimeter in an effort to capture a man who had robbed the PNC Bank minutes earlier.

But, the man apparently made it out of the area and now, local police are following leads to locate the robber.

Lake Geneva Police Chief Michael Rasmussen said the city is in contact with the FBI and has “numerous” leads to follow as they continue to seek the suspect, who made it out of the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash.

On Monday, at about 3:53 p.m., officers responded to 401 Broad St., the address of PNC Bank, for a reported robbery.

According to police, the suspect was described as a white man, wearing a black baseball cap, black frame sunglasses, a brown plaid, collared, long sleeve, button-up shirt, blue jeans and white and blue/gray gym shoes.

In an attempt to conceal his identity, the man also wore a surgical mask. The clerk said the man had a mustache, was of stocky build, about 6-foot to 6-foot-3 in height, was about 225 to 245 pounds and between 35 and 55 years old.

Apparently, when inside the bank, the man implied he had a bomb. After receiving the money, he fled out of the back of the bank on foot and was last seen headed south from the building.

Lake Geneva police arrived on the scene and set up the perimeter to try to secure the area and locate the robber. They closed traffic on Wisconsin Street between Broad and Center streets, near the bank. They closed Geneva Street from Broad to Center. Police also locked down nearby Central-Denison and Eastview elementary schools.

Rasmussen said the outer doors were locked at the schools so nobody could go inside or leave. He said although most of the students already were gone from the school, police wanted to make sure no students were walking around in the area because of a potential threat of the suspect.

“We wanted the kids to be safe,” Rasmussen said.

The children weren’t the only concern. People working in some nearby buildings also were told to remain in their buildings and lock the doors.

Lilian Capetti, the managing broker with Global Solutions Realty was taking a brief break around 4 p.m. outside her building at 326 Center Street. That’s when a Lake Geneva police officer, holding a rifle and wearing a bullet proof vest, quickly approached her.

Capetti said the woman officer asked her if she was OK and then told her to go back into the building and lock the doors.

Although the officer didn’t tell her what was going on, Capetti said she felt safe and was thankful for the officer’s actions.

“We sometimes take security for granted,” Capetti said. “Her concern was for my safety.”

Minutes later, police and Walworth County Sheriff’s Deputies were searching the building Capetti was in, using K-9 units.

Police and the K-9s also searched the alley area and the old Traver Hotel building.

Capetti said she also saw other officers with rifles and the closed off streets, as she watched out her window, which faces the alley.

It wasn’t until after 5 p.m. when Capetti and others were allowed to leave. That was about the same time the roads and the schools were reopened.

“The whole thing was quite interesting,” Capetti said. “You don’t expect something like this to happen so close to home.”