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Forum staff reports, Published August 07 2013

SD man sentenced for robbing banks in Fargo, Bloomington, Arden Hills

MINNEAPOLIS – A 45-year-old South Dakota man was sentenced Wednesday in federal court here for robbing two Twin Cities’ banks and a Fargo bank in late 2011 and early 2012.

U.S. District Judge David S. Doty sentenced William Roy St. John, of Sisseton, to 188 months in prison on three counts of bank robbery, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney’s office in Minnesota.

St. John pleaded guilty in December to the three robberies.

In his plea agreement, St. John admitted that on Jan. 2, 2012, he stole about $3,810 from the US Bank in Bloomington; that on Jan. 4, 2012, he stole $5,520 from the Wells Fargo Bank in Arden Hills; and that on Dec. 31, 2011, he stole about $2,107 from a south Fargo Bank of the West branch.

In all three robberies, St. John is alleged to have handed a note to the teller demanding cash and intimating he had a weapon.

According to the release:

Authorities arrested St. John in Bloomington on Jan. 7, 2012, after an off-duty police officer saw him unsuccessfully try to carjack a vehicle.

The off-duty officer tried to intercede, but St. John stated he had a gun, and the officer backed off.

St. John fled the area on foot and then tried to break into three nearby occupied homes, eventually taking a hostage in one of the homes.

As St. John tried to leave the home with the hostage, two other residents tackled him, allowing police to arrest him.

St. John still faces charges in Hennepin County District Court for charges stemming from his arrest. Charges include attempted home invasion as well as attempted carjacking, kidnapping, and auto theft, all of which were unrelated to the bank robberies.

St. John had been recently released from a federal prison in Missouri before the robberies.