A 20-year-old man is facing charges for allegedly robbing a Wauwatosa bank by fashioning a broomstick to look like a gun and holding up two tellers.
Kenyon Jamal Lee was charged Friday in Milwaukee County Circuit Court with one count of robbery of a financial institution. If convicted, he faces up to 40 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.
According to the criminal complaint:
At 9:55 a.m. Tuesday, Lee walked out of the produce section of the Pick ‘n Save store at 1717 N. Mayfair Rd. and towards a counter. He approached the teller and told her to come by him. She did, and then he told her to tell the other employee to come over as well.
The teller thought the request was strange, but she looked down and saw what she thought was a gun. Lee told her to put her hands up, then he jumped over the counter and had her put cash into a backpack. She did, and he left.
Several Pick ‘n Save employees saw the robbery and followed Lee into the parking lot, but he motioned toward his waistband as if reaching for a gun, so they stopped.
However, a Wauwatosa motorcycle patrol officer responding to an alarm from the bank saw Lee running across the southbound lanes of Mayfair Road. The officer paced Lee along Mayfair until he bolted up a driveway, across a lot and then into an alley.
The motorcycle officer followed cross-lots and caught up, without the suspect ever realizing that he was being followed.
After the officer yelled for Lee to stop, he dropped the backpack and sunglasses, put his hands in the air and said “OK” and dropped to the ground, The officer searched him and found what looked like a piece of bent pipe fashioned to look like a gun.
Lee told officers he had been thinking about robbing a bank recently and woke up that morning and decided to finally do so. He said the gun was actually a broom handle and he wanted to pull off the robbery to support his daughter because he’s a convicted felon and therefore can’t get a job.
Lee is being held in Milwaukee County Jail while awaiting trial.