18 years in prison for man accused of robbing bank in Mequon, pursuit with child unrestrained

Jonathan Rivera

OZAUKEE COUNTY — A man accused in three bank robberies in five days has been sentenced to prison in one of two cases filed against him.

31-year-old Jonathan Rivera in October pleaded guilty to two charges: Robbery of a financial institution, repeater, and second degree recklessly endangering safety, repeater.

In court on November 1st, he was sentenced to serve 18 years in prison and 17 years extended supervision.

Prosecutors say Rivera robbed the BMO Harris Bank near Port Washington and Mequon road on May 8th — passing a note to a teller implying he had a gun, and demanding money. The teller gave him money and he fled the scene.

There was then a high-speed pursuit, which ended in a crash. Investigators learned a woman and a child were inside Rivera’s vehicle at the time. It was found the child did not even have a proper car seat.

The pursuit lasted just 43 seconds, and the crash happened near Buntrock and Industrial Drive. No one was hurt.

BMO Harris Bank

Rivera is also facing charges in connection with two other crimes — one in Glendale and one in Whitefish Bay. The Whitefish Bay incident happened on the same day as the Mequon bank robbery.

Rivera is charged with robbery of a financial institution for an attempted robbery at the Associated Bank located near Silver Spring and Diversey in Whitefish Bay on May 8th, and robbery of a financial institution for a bank robbery at the PNC Bank near Port Washington and Green Tree in Glendale on May 3rd.

He has a scheduling conference set for November 27th.

According to the criminal complaint, investigators spoke with a teller at the PNC Bank, who indicated on May 3rd, a suspect approached and slid her a note, reading: “Give me the money. No ink dye. Put it in an envelope.” Because the suspect kept his hands in his pockets, the teller was worried he had a weapon, she said. She indicated she filled an envelope with $1,700 and gave it to the suspect, who then left the bank.

Rivera was identified as the suspect in this case by a banker, via a photo array.

Five days later, on May 8th, police were on scene at the Associated Bank in Whitefish Bay. There, a teller indicated a suspect approached her station and passed a handwritten note. It said something to the effect of: “$100s. No funny business. Quick and fast.” The teller said she worried the suspect may be armed.

According to the complaint, the teller was unable to comply with the suspect’s demands because she didn’t have access to her cash drawer. She indicated she was “in shock,” and was only able to respond to the suspect by saying “no.” The suspect took the demand note and left the bank, the complaint says.

The Mequon robbery happened less than an hour later.