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Local pleads guilty in 2 bank heists

By Katherine Wartell

A Manhattan man pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to two counts of bank robbery committed in the fall of 2011.

James Cross, public information officer for U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom in the District of Kansas, said Mark Wyche, 23, admitted to robbing Community First National Bank, 210 Tuttle Creek Blvd., on Oct. 4, 2011 and Kansas State Bank, 555 Poyntz Ave., on Nov. 17, 2011.

Those were two of three robberies Wyche was accused of committing last fall. He was also charged with the Nov. 22 armed robbery of Dara’s Fast Lane, No. 9, 5321 Tuttle Creek Blvd., but Cross said that the charges were dropped as a result of the plea deal.

Cross said that at Community First National Bank, Wyche entered the building wearing a dark jacket, black gloves, sunglasses and a cap. He said Wyche handed a teller a note that said, “Give me all $100 bills in your drawer now. No alarms, no dye packs. Be quick, I have a gun!” During the robbery, he raised a portion of his clothing to reveal what looked like a handgun wedged into his waistband, Cross said.

He said that at Kansas State Bank, Wyche entered the building wearing a black coat, gloves, black stocking cap and dark sunglasses. He gave the teller a note that said, “You are being robbed. Give me all the $100 bills in your drawer. You have 10 seconds. No alarms. No dye packs.” Cross said he did not display a gun.

Riley County police arrested Wyche on Nov. 30, following an investigation into tips received from the Crime Stoppers tip line.

Wyche’s sentencing is set for May 23. He faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 for the Community First National Bank Robbery, and a maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $250,000 for the Kansas State Bank robbery.

Wyche is currently being held in federal custody.

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