Credit Union Teller Captured After One-Year Search
A former teller wanted for nearly a year by Milwaukee police for allegedly plotting the May 2013 robbery of an Educators Credit Union branch was captured and charged Thursday with robbery of a financial institution.
Jessica M. Benson, 23, was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Northern Illinois last week and is in Milwaukee County Jail, said Lt. Mark Stanmeyer of the Milwaukee Police Department.
For weeks, Benson (pictured at left) plotted to rob the credit union’s West Appleton Avenue branch in Milwaukee with her boyfriend, Nathaniel Robinson. They also recruited two other men, Kevin B. Blackburn and Ricardo L. Perkins, to help them carry out the May 7th robbery, according to a Milwaukee District Attorney criminal complaint.
The complaint also alleged Benson had given one of the men “inside information on when and how to do the robbery.”
A security camera captured the robbery at the drive-thru lane where the robbers handed a note to a teller demanding cash. They also threatened to set off a bomb.
Benson was working during the robbery and took money from her cash drawer to hand over to the robbers, according to the criminal complaint. Approximately $6,000 was stolen.
After the May 7 robbery, Benson did not return to work and police found her apartment had been recently vacated. Benson also changed her personal appearance, according to the criminal complaint.
A witness later told police that Benson had been involved in the robbery.
Benson appeared in Wisconsin Circuit Court Thursday and did not enter a plea, court records show.
Her bond was set at $10,000. She will face a preliminary hearing on April 28. If convicted, Benson could be sentenced up to 40 years in prison and a $100,000 fine, court records show.
In a prepared statement, the $1.4 billion Educators CU of Mount Pleasant, Wis. said it will fully cooperate with the Milwaukee Police Department's investigation of the robbery.
“We will not be making any further comment until the investigation and any subsequent judicial processes are complete,” the credit union said.