A teller at a Tri City National Bank branch in Wauwatosa told police that she was focused on some work Friday morning when she heard her colleague two windows away gasp.
She looked at her co-worker and saw she was staring toward the door. She turned and gave a gasp of her own.
Both would say that they knew in an instant they were going to be robbed.
Walking toward them was a man wearing a dress, a long, unruly wig and sunglasses, his disguise not fooling either of them for a second.
They were robbed, both of them, and just a minute and 42 seconds after entering, the man left with two drawers worth of cash.
Michael Ricardo Leviston, 57, of Hilbert, WI, was charged Tuesday with robbery of a financial institution and faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted.
In and out in under two minutes
According to police reports, Leviston entered the bank branch at 10859 Blue Mound Rd. at 11:11:14 a.m., walked up to a teller and showed a note, then demanded cash from "the bottom drawer, the 50s and 100s."
Even as she complied, she said, he told her he had a gun and threatened to shoot her.
Meanwhile, a bank manager, also fully aware of what was happening, ambled nonchalantly next to the other teller on duty and told her to activate the silent alarm. She did. The manager dialed 911.
In a moment, Leviston had bagged the cash from the first window and moved down the counter.
He told the second teller the same thing — money from the second drawer, 50s and 100s. She also responded quickly, handing over all denominations.
Leviston stuffed the cash into a black bag and strode out the door at precisely 11:12:56.
Under arrest in one
A Wauwatosa police officer on patrol on North Mayfair Road, not far south of Blue Mound, got the first dispatch, a holdup alarm. Moments later came a second dispatch — bank robbery in progress. Moments after that, the third — the suspect was a man dressed as a woman.
By then, the officer was a block south of West Mt. Vernon Avenue, which is one block south of the bank. From Mayfair Road, he spotted what appeared to be a woman running down Mt. Vernon in the middle of the street.
He turned and quickly overtook Leviston, as it proved to be, and shouted to him to stop. Leviston did, immediately, dropping the bag and throwing his hands up. As he did so, his wig fell off.
The time was 11:14.
According to the report, after he was handcuffed and put into the back of a squad car, Leviston leaned forward to the officer and asked, "Where did you come from?"
Then, pleading, he said, "Get me out of this car so I can get out of this dress. This is a little embarrassing."
No gun was found, and all the bank's money was recovered.