Bank robber arrested in connection with 2 robberies

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“Evidence recovered included clothing items, money and a firearm," said La Crosse Police Captain Michael Brohmer.

He says those three things helped lead them to 53-year-old Jeffrey Haydock.

Haydock was arrested at about 4:45 this morning in Watertown, Wisconsin. He’s accused of robbing the Citizens State Bank yesterday.

Police say he entered the bank and showed a semi-automatic gun. He then ordered everyone to get down on the floor and told two tellers to fill his plastic grocery bags with money. After that he ran out of the bank.

"The video from the public library was the key to the arrest," Captain Brohmer said. "That captured the suspects vehicle prior to and after the robbery along with himself coming and going on foot.”

Captain Brohmer says Haydock is also accused of robbing the Firefighters Credit Union. That holdup happened on May 7.

"Today’s events helped heal a lot of emotional wounds today,” said Firefighters Credit Union President Bruce Zmolek.

He says he won’t forget the day a man in a ski mask entered the Credit Union, pulled out a gun and demanded money.

“The perpetrator of these crimes are usually in and out in a very, very short amount of time which seems like hours when you’re the victims,” Zmolek said.

After they were robbed, Zmolek says he spent hours watching the Credit Union’s surveillance video.

“You’re just looking for anything—anything you could possibly get…shoelaces, try to look at hair color, any little piece of evidence," Zmolek said.

When he saw a picture from yesterday’s Citizens State Bank surveillance video, Zmolek says he had a gut feeling it was the same guy who robbed them a month ago.

“I thought there was a very good chance," Zmolek said. "Honest to God, I never though he would be silly enough to try it so soon, so close to home.”

Bank robbery is a federal offense. If convicted, Haydock could face both federal and state charges.

“Certainly takes care of bank robberies we had here in La Crosse," Captain Brohmer said. "Generally, people who rob banks don’t necessarily represent a direct threat to the community.”

And Captain Brohmer says he hopes it’s quite a while before there’s another one.

At this point, he says they don’t know if Haydock has any connection to the La Crosse area. Haydock is currently being held in the Jefferson County Jail. A court date has not been made yet.

From earlier, 6/9/10:

La Crosse police officers say the man they arrested in the bank robbery yesterday at the Citizens State Bank, is also connected to the Firefighters Credit Union robbery from early May.

According to the criminal complaint, 53-year-old Jeffrey Haydock is on federal probation for bank robbery and state probation for robbery offense.

The complaint says on Tuesday at about 10:50 a.m., Haydock showed a semi-automatic pistol and ordered everyone in Citizens State Bank to get down on the floor. The complaint says that he told a teller to get up and place all of her till money into "plastic grocery bags" that he gave her. He then ordered a second teller to do the same. After money was put into the bags, he ordered everyone to get back on the ground and left out the south doors of the bank.

The complaint says surveillance video from the Main Street La Crosse Public Library helped La Crosse Police identify Haydock as the suspect. According to the complaint, the video shows Haydock walking east on Main Street. That's where he's seen walking onto the corner of 9th and Main Streets. From there he got into a blue and gray colored car and is shown driving northbound. Officers could clearly see the license plate of the car, which belonged to Haydock. He was arrested early this morning after an arrest warrant was issued. He is currently being held in the Jefferson County Jail.

We'll have more on this story tonight on WEAU 13 News at 5 and 6.
“It’s just freaky. You hear about bank robberies all the time, but not when it’s right underneath you," said Sam Cable, an intern for Northwestern Mutual on Main Street, which is right above the Citizens State Bank.

He was preparing for a meeting outside the office at about 11 this morning when his coworkers noticed a couple of police cars parked outside the building.

"We’re all like, 'What’s going on?' We ran out on the top of the balcony right there, looking down and we didn’t think much of it," Cable explained.

That is until he heard that La Crosse Police were there because of a bank robbery.

"This individual produced a handgun and ordered tellers to lie on the floor," said Police Chief Ed Kondracki. "He demanded money and was able to obtain an undetermined amount of cash.”

The Citizens State Bank robbery marks the third bank robbery in the last couple of months.

On May 7, a man robbed the Firefighters Credit Union on Fifth Avenue. Police are still looking for that suspect.

On May 21, La Crosse Police arrested John Tolar after they say he robbed the M & I Bank on Rose Street.

Police are not sure at this point if the same person who robbed the Firefighters Credit Union also robbed the Citizens State Bank.

"The clearance rate on crimes like this is relatively high," Chief Kondracki said. "Very often we receive tips leading to the successful arrest of individuals in this type of case.”

"I find the reality of armed bank robberies happening repeatedly here in La Crosse is very unnerving,” said La Crosse resident Caroline More.

Cable says, "You don’t think that bank robberies can really happen that much and knowing that they’re going on all the time, it’s pretty unsettling.”

And he hopes what seems like a trend in robberies in the area ends soon.

The robbery suspect was last seen running out of the south door of the bank. If you have any information on the Citizen State Bank robbery, La Crosse Police want you to call them at (608) 785-5962. You can also call Crimestoppers at (608) 784-8477.

From earlier 6/8/10:

Police say another bank was robbed in La Crosse.

It happened Tuesday morning around 11 a.m. La Crosse Police officers say they got a call of an armed robbery at the Citizen’s State Bank on 620 Main Street. A male approached tellers with a handgun. Police say the man told tellers to stay on the floor. He was able to get away with an undetermined amount of money.

Officers are still looking for the man. He’s described as a white male in his 30’s. He’s about 6 feet tall with a thin or lean build. He has sandy blonde hair. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and a red and black bandanna over his face. He was also wearing sunglasses. He was last seen running out of the bank.

If you have any information, you’re asked to call the La Crosse Police Department at 608-785-5962 or Crimestoppers at 608-784-8477.

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