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Charges filed against Hampton bank robbery suspect

A 49-year-old Minneapolis man made his initial court appearance Feb. 9 on charges he robbed 13 Minnesota banks, including a Merchant's Bank branch in Hampton, between March 9, 2011 and Jan. 3, 2012.

According to a grand jury indictment made public Thursday Mark Edward Wetsch is suspected of stealing $9,445 from the Hampton bank on May 13, 2011. That's the second largest total listed among the robberies. Amounts stolen from other banks ranged from $1,880 last month from Rolling Hills Bank and trust in Brewster to $11,400 March 9 from Klein Bank in Cologne.

A masked man, now believed to be Wetsch, walked into the Hampton bank on the morning of May 13. He showed a handgun and demanded money. Dakota County Sheriff Dave Bellows said at the time the suspect, who was wearing a ski mask, blue jeans and a blue windbreaker, walked out of the bank and likely drove away in a white, mid-size car.

The indictment against Wetsch, which was filed Feb. 7 and unsealed after he made his court appearance, alleges he put the lives of others in danger by brandishing a weapon in the robberies.

Other robberies took place in Hastings, Alexandria, Glenwood, St. Peter, Minneapolis, Albertville, Richfield, Gaylord, Faribault, Eden Prairie, Brewster and Cologne.

Wetsch was still in custody on Feb. 9. He could spend up to 25 years in jail on each of the 13 counts if he is convicted.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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