Woman faces charges for driving getaway car
MADISON A Mount Horeb woman has been charged in federal court with driving the getaway car from five bank robberies, including one in Janesville.
A federal grand jury Tuesday charged Tara Thousand, 25, with assisting in a robbery at Anchor Bank, 2215 Holiday Drive, Janesville, on May 19. She also is charged in connection robberies at four banks in Madison and Middleton, according to a news release from the U.S. Federal Court Western District of Wisconsin.
Thousand drove the getaway car, a silver Toyota Corolla, while her boyfriend, Michael Benike, went into the banks and demanded $50 and $100 bills, according to the criminal complaint filed in July in federal court.
Surveillance cameras caught images of a silver Toyota Corolla with a sunroof used by the suspects, according to the criminal complaint.
Law enforcement consulted with Toyota dealerships in Madison and Dubuque, Iowa, and concluded the Corolla was likely a 2003 to 2008 LE model with a sunroof. A Wisconsin Department of Transportation query for all 2003 to 2008 Corollas in Dane County returned a list of 5,700 registered vehicles. Of those, 1,300 were silver, but only 49 had factory-installed sunroofs, according to the complaint.
Among the 49 registered drivers, only Thousand has a criminal record, according to the complaint.
Thousand and Benike are suspected of three additional bank robberies, including ones in Rockford, Ill. and Dubuque, Iowa, according to a federal court news release.
If convicted, Thousand faces up to 20 years of prison for each count, the release states.