Wimberger bank robbery bill advances

The state Senate on Jan. 16 passed Sen. Eric Wimberger’s bill that would fix a law that let a Green Bay bank robber off the hook after robbing a bank.

“During an incident last year, a bank robbery suspect entered a Green Bay bank and presented to a teller a handwritten note demanding money,” Wimberger said. “But because the suspect did not threaten violence, charges were dropped, because robbery under current law has to include the threat or use of force. This fix strengthens state statutes and holds criminals accountable and keeps employees and customers safe.”

Under current law, it’s a felony to take property from a financial institution by force or by threatening to use force. The new bill, which passed the Senate 25-7, would change state law to include circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to believe the use of force was imminent.

The bill is supported by the Wisconsin Bankers Association, the Wisconsin Credit Union League and the Milwaukee Police Association.

Wimberger represents the 30th Senate District, which includes parts of Brown, Oconto and Marinette counties.