A West Bend man who allegedly robbed a bank two days after being released from a four-and-a-half year prison term was charged Friday in Washington County Circuit Court.
A day after meeting with his probation agent Russell R. Smith, 35, cut off his electronic monitoring bracelet before stealing a 30-pack of Milwaukee’s Best Ice beer from a West Bend Pick n’ Save store, according to a criminal complaint charging him with robbing a financial institution as a repeat offender.
According to the complaint, after drinking beer at Ridge Run Park, Smith went to a Wal-Mart store, stole a mountain bike, a backpack, a BB gun and a tent before setting up camp behind a cemetery and continuing to drink into the next day when he decided to rob a bank.
He rode the bike to the M&I bank at 325 Valley Ave. in West Bend and handed a note to a teller demanding money and pulling the BB gun from the backpack.
After the teller gave him cash he fled the bank on the bike and was later spotted by a West Bend police officer riding along the Ice Age Trail south of Lake Lucas. When Smith saw the officer he abandoned the bike and fled through a wooded area, where he eventually was captured.
Officers recovered the backpack, money and the BB gun, which had no ammunition, according to the complaint.
Smith told officers he did not intend to hurt anyone, that he had given up on life and couldn’t handle living in society. He added that he intended to live in the woods, according to the complaint. He also was charged as a repeat offender with criminal damage to property for allegedly cutting off the monitoring bracelet.
In 2006, Smith was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison for armed robbery, according to court records.