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‘Ready to die?’ Prosecutors say couple committed 8 robberies in under 2 weeks to feed drug habit

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MILWAUKEE -- Prosecutors charged a couple Tuesday, Oct. 22 in connection to eight armed robberies and attempted armed robberies on the city's south side over a span of nearly two weeks -- allegedly carried out to feed their drug habit.

Stephanie Nisiewicz, of Cudahy, and her boyfriend, Nicholas Schneider, of Wind Lake made initial appearances in Milwaukee County court Tuesday afternoon. Nisiewicz, 30, and Schneider, 26, were charged with multiple counts of robbery, armed robbery, and attempted armed robbery.

According to court documents, Schneider walked into Tenuta's To Go on Whitnall Avenue near Howard Avenue on the evening of Oct. 4 and demanded money from the register. The owner told police he believed the man, who was wearing a black hoodie and had his face covered, was possibly holding a gun in his pocket.

Court filings said that robbery would be the first of eight armed robberies or attempted armed robberies by Schneider, Nisiewicz, or both, on Milwaukee's south side, Saint Francis, Cudahy, and Oak Creek, spanning nearly two weeks.

Stephanie Nisiewicz

Stephanie Nisiewicz

The final three crimes came Thursday, Oct. 17. Prosecutors said the couple targeted a Speedway gas station on Howell Avenue near College Avenue, where a woman -- later identified as Nisiewicz -- demanded money from the clerk, or else they would be shot, filings said.

Nicholas Schneider

Nicholas Schneider

A police officer later spotted Nisiewicz with a bag of money walking down a dead-end street less than a block away from the gas station. Nisiewicz told the officer that she did not have a gun.

Court filings said the pair used the proceeds from the successful hold-ups to pay for a hotel and drugs. Nisiewicz, a mother of two, told investigators she had recently started injecting crack cocaine.

In one of the last armed robberies, filings said Nisiewicz told an employee at a Dunkin' Donuts on Layton Avenue near Howell Avenue that she had a gun, demanded all of the money, and that someone in the car was "ready to pull the trigger" because there was a bomb inside -- asking if they were "ready to die."

Stephanie Nisiewicz, Nicholas Schneider

"There was never any actual weapon involved in any of these alleged incidents, and that what was fueling this two-week alleged behavior is addiction," said Colin McGinn, defense attorney.

A court commissioner set their bail at $20,000 each. Preliminary hearings were scheduled for Nov. 1.

Nisiewicz has no criminal history, while Schneider has prior drug convictions.

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