San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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FROM SUBMITTED REPORTS

This just in from city of San Marcos spokesperson Trey Hatt:

A San Antonio man suspected in a string of bank robberies, including one in San Marcos, has been indicted by a federal grand jury.

Willie James Cleveland, 34, was charged with nine counts of bank robbery May 19. He is accused of robbing eight banks along the IH-35 corridor between February and April Texas year. One of those banks was the Wells Fargo Bank in Wal-Mart, 1000 Texas 80, which was robbed on Feb. 26.

San Marcos police joined forces with the FBI, the San Antonio Police Department, the Austin Police Department and the New Braunfels Police Department to investigate the robberies.

“I would like to credit Sergeant Byron Mobley and Detectives Phil Jackson, Adrian Marin, Chris Tankersley, and Loy Locke for their work on this investigation,” said Cmdr. Kelly Earnest of the police department’s Criminal Investigations division. “Their follow-up on this incident and coordination with area agencies was instrumental in this outstanding group effort by area law enforcement agencies.”

A federal grand jury indictment returned yesterday charges Cleveland with nine counts of bank robbery. According to the indictment, Cleveland is responsible for the following bank robberies:

  • Feb. 12: Woodforest National Bank, 1500 block of N. Loop 1604 East in San Antonio;
  • Feb. 18: Woodforest National Bank, 9300 block of IH-35 South in Austin;
  • Feb. 26: Wells Fargo Bank, 1000 block of Texas Highway 80 in San Marcos;
  • March 14: Wells Fargo Bank, 1200 block IH-35 South in New Braunfels;
  • March 16: Chase Bank, 5400 block of IH-35 North in Austin;
  • March 26 and April 7: Air Force Credit Union, 3100 block of Wurzbach in San Antonio;
  • April 16: BBVA Compass Bank, 7500 block of Wurzbach in San Antonio; and,
  • April 18: BBVA Compass Bank, 5700 block of Cameron Road in Austin.

The indictment also alleges that during the April 7, April 16 and April 18 bank robberies, Cleveland assaulted, or put into jeopardy the life of, a bank employee while carrying out the incidents. Authorities estimate that a total of more than $50,000 was stolen as a result of the bank robberies.

Cleveland has remained in federal custody since his arrest by San Antonio Police Department Robbery detectives on April 20, 2015. If convicted, Cleveland faces up to 25 years in federal prison for each of the three bank robberies where an assault is alleged, and up to 20 years in federal prison for each of the remaining bank robbery counts.

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