MINNEAPOLIS — One man has been charged with two counts of aggravated robbery in the second degree following a spree of bank robberies across the state.
According to the Minneapolis Police Department, William Villanueva was arrested in connection with robberies of two separate Wells Fargo Banks in south Minneapolis. Upon investigation, detectives learned that there were four other bank robberies throughout the state and one in Wisconsin with the same modulus operandi and suspect definition.
In the first robbery, which occurred on Aug. 12, the teller at the first bank - 4943 34th Avenue South - told police the suspect handed her a note that read: "$50's + $100's only. No Dye Packs. I have a gun but don't want to use it. GIVE BACK NOTE."
The teller then told the suspect that the transaction was going to need require assistance from a manager, who gave the suspect $2569.00 in various denominations. The manager reported that she kept the demand note and the suspect left with the money. Both the teller and the manager provided a physical description of the suspect that matched the defendant.
In the second robbery, which occurred on Aug. 24 at 4712 Chicago Avenue South, the teller reported receiving a note that read: "I have a gun, if you don't give me the money I will hurt someone."
The teller said that while in the process of retrieving the money, the suspect added to the note "Quick" and that he "wanted the note back or he would hurt someone."
The teller and other bank employees provided a physical description that matched the defendant.
In addition to the two bank robberies in Minneapolis, police found similarities in the robbery of Mid-West One Bank in White Bear Lake on Aug. 19, Citizens State Bank in Roberts, Wisc. on Aug. 22, Wells Fargo in St. Anthony on Aug. 26, Associated Bank in North Branch on Aug. 26 and Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union in Alexandria on Aug. 29.
Upon the investigation, which included a call to the public for help identifying the suspect, officers say they received a statement from the defendant admitting to committing all of the bank robberies, identified himself as the person depicted in the still images and said the demand notes were written by an accomplice.
Villanueva is currently being held at Chisago County Jail.
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