Bank Robber's Arrest in Tosa Leads to Charges in 4 Milwaukee Cases
String of bank heists may be solved, as Michael Levitson, the defendant in Wauwatosa's cross-dressing robbery case, is identified in a slew of cases in May and June.
Court records show that Michael R. Levitson, 57, of Hilbert, Wis., faces four more counts of robbery of a financial institution, all filed together Monday in Milwaukee County Circuit Court. Charges were filed in the Wauwatosa case July 17.
Tosa police arrested Levitson at 11:14 a.m. July 13, one minute after he left the Tri City Bank branch at 10859 W. Blue Mound Rd. with a bag containing two drawers' worth of cash.
He was wearing sunglasses, a long black wig and a full-length sleeveless dress at the time.
According to a report in Friday's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee detectives found that Levitson matched the description of the suspect in the four more robberies he's now accused of, and possibly more.
The report said that two more bank jobs were mentioned in the criminal complaint filed Monday, although Levitson has not yet been charged in those cases. All the Milwaukee robberies occurred in May and June at banks across the city, the report said, while Levitson was out on parole for a 2006 bank robbery.
Three minutes, start to finish
If Levitson is convicted in all or any of the Milwaukee cases, Wauwatosa police can take a lot of credit, as can some quick-thinking bank employees.
Tellers at the Tosa Tri City branch told police that they knew the instant Levitson entered the lobby in his getup that they were going to be robber – and by a man, not a woman. His cross-gender disguise didn't fool them for a second, they said.
One of the tellers hit a silent alarm button under her counter while Levitson was holding up her colleague, and a bank manager surreptitiously dialed 911 while the robbery was in progress.
Still, Levitson got away with an undisclosed amount of cash, leaving the bank less than two minutes after he walked in.
A Tosa patrol officer was driving north on Mayfair Road at the time, not far south of Blue Mound, when he heard three successive dispatches about the robbery.
The last – saying that the suspect was a black man in his 50s and wearing a dress – came just as the officer approached West Mt. Vernon Avenue, one block south of the bank.
The officer spotted Levitson running up the middle of Mt. Vernon, turned and quickly overtook him.
Levitson, the officer said in his report, threw up his hands and surrendered immediately when ordered to halt, losing his wig as he did so.
After his arrest, from his seat in the back of the officer's squad car, he leaned forward and said, incredulously, "Where did you come from?"