53-year-old Lincoln man pleads guilty to string of bank robberies

2013-10-17T21:00:00Z 2013-10-17T22:45:07Z 53-year-old Lincoln man pleads guilty to string of bank robberiesBy LORI PILGER / Lincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com

A 53-year-old Lincoln man pleaded guilty Thursday to robbing three banks and agreed to pay restitution for those and three others in Lincoln and the Omaha area last year.

As part of a plea agreement, Cameron Mitchell admitted he robbed the Union Bank & Trust branch near 22nd Street and Nebraska 2 on July 16, 2012, the First National Bank branch at 2930 S. 24th St. in Omaha on Aug. 13, 2012, and the American National Bank in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Aug. 24, 2012.

Assistant U.S. Attorney William Mickle said Mitchell carried a small-caliber gun when he went into each of the banks about 9:45 a.m., wearing a hooded sweatshirt with a bandanna over his face.

Mickle described a nearly identical scene each time.

"After he entered the bank, he jumped the counter and went into the teller area, took money from the teller's stations and placed the currency into the black bag he was carrying and thereafter left the bank," he said of the Union Bank robbery.

In the end, U.S. Magistrate Judge Cheryl R. Zwart asked Mitchell if what Mickle had said was true.

"On July 16, 2012, did you rob a bank?" she asked.

"Yes, I did," Mitchell said.

"Going to Aug 13, 2012, did you rob another bank that day?" Zwart asked.

"Yes, I did," he answered again.

"Now going to Aug. 24, 2012, did you rob another bank?" the judge asked.

"Yes, I did," Mitchell said a third time.

Mickle said Mitchell agreed to plead guilty to five counts in all -- three bank robberies and two charges for using a firearm to do it.

He also agreed that $74,179.74 in restitution would be ordered as part of his sentence for the money taken in those bank robberies and three others, including one at the U.S. Bank near 56th Street and Shady Creek Road in Lincoln on June 23, 2012.

On Aug. 24, 2012, Lincoln police ended the spate of crimes when they arrested Mitchell after spotting him at a motel off West O Street.

Mitchell faces as many as 25 years in prison for the Council Bluffs bank robbery, as many as 20 years for each of the Nebraska robberies, plus 25 years to life and five years to life for each of the gun charges when he's sentenced Jan. 14.

Reach Lori Pilger at 402-473-7237 or lpilger@journalstar.com or follow her on Twitter at LJSpilger.

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