Terrifying Time: Family of 3 Held Hostage by Wells Fargo Bank Robbers

July 11, 2019 2:50p

(WGTD)---Four bank robbers who kidnapped a Racine branch manager at gunpoint in order to gain access to the bank before it opened the next day also snatched the Kenosha woman's two young children. The family spent the night in the basement of a Milwaukee home with Happy Meals that were brought in and a bucket for use as a bathroom.  

Details of the terrifying experience were revealed in criminal complaints that were filed Thursday against William Howell and George Pearson-Robb, both 19; Donterious Robb, who's 23, and 18-year-old Lamarra Powell. All list Milwaukee addresses.

According to the complaint, two of the robbers followed the woman to her Kenosha home after the bank closed for business Friday, June 28th, then confronted the 25-year-old woman and her two children, ages five and two, at gunpoint. They forced the family back into the woman's car then drove to Milwaukee, where the family was held in a basement. 

The complaint says one of the robbers apparently had misgivings about holding the entire family hostage and started making small talk about birthdays.

The next day, the robbers and the family drove to the bank--Wells Fargo on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive in Racine--two hours before it was scheduled to open. The woman was forced to unlock an exterior door, enabling the robbers to gain entry and empty teller drawers.

The thieves fled in her vehicle, leaving the family behind. The woman flagged down for help a bank customer who was using the bank's ATM. Her car was abandoned in Milwaukee and set on fire near the home of one of the suspects.

Investigators were able to break the case by examining the footage of multiple security cameras and capturing the license plate of a car that was observed following the woman.  

The four appeared Thursday in Racine Court, where bonds were set. They ranged from $1 million to $2 million.