Feds focus on ex-con in series of bank robberies 06 Jan 12

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Federal investigators say they’re focused on an ex-con that has talked to groups about his criminal past as a suspect in a string of bank robberies across Minnesota.

Dubbed the “Man in Black” for dressing in black as he began the robberies, authorities say the suspect has hit at least six, and possibly 12 banks, including U.S. Bank in Prior Lake and Paragon Bank in Shakopee.

Mark Wetsch was charged Thursday with holding up a bank in the small town of Brewster with a toy gun. FBI spokesman Kyle Loven says authorities continue investigating whether the 49-year-old Wetsch is the serial bank robber. In 2005, Wetsch was imprisoned for defrauding a Twin Cities nursing home. After he was released from prison, the Star Tribune (http://bit.ly/AwdPjG ) says he teamed up with a former federal prosecutor to talk to groups about the consequences of committing crimes.

Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)