18 years in prison for man accused in 3 bank robberies in 2 counties in 5 days

Jonathan Rivera

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

Jonathan Rivera, 32, of Milwaukee on March 1 pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery of a financial institution in the Milwaukee County case filed in May of 2017.

On May 3, Rivera was sentenced to serve 28 years in prison and 22 years, six months extended supervision.

This sentence is to be served concurrently with his Ozaukee County sentence — meaning he’ll serve 18 years in prison.

In the Ozaukee County case, Rivera in October pleaded guilty to one count of robbery of a financial institution, repeater and one count of second degree recklessly endangering safety, repeater.

In November, he was sentenced to serve 18 years in prison and 15 years extended supervision.

Prosecutors say Rivera robbed the BMO Harris Bank near Port Washington and Mequon road on May 8, 2017 — 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. He was accused of committing an attempted robbery at the Associated Bank located near Silver Spring and Diversey in Whitefish Bay on May 8, 2017 and robbery of a financial institution for a bank robbery at the PNC Bank near Port Washington and Green Tree in Glendale on May 3, 2017.

According to the criminal complaint, investigators spoke with a teller at the PNC Bank, who indicated on May 3, 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 8, 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.