Janesville50.5°

Resident: 'I heard someone yelling'

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ANN MARIE AMES
November 10, 2007
— NEWARK TOWNSHIP

The bank robber asked for one last favor.


It was too late.


Robert Rotkovich stepped out of his house Friday afternoon to find a man jogging through the yard. Rotkovich lives on the corner of Highway 81 and Merlet Road, just north of Newark Elementary School west of Beloit.


“I asked him what he was doing,” Rotkovich said. “Then we heard sirens, and he said, ‘Do me a favor,’ and took off running (south) towards my woods.”


As squad cards screamed around the corner, the man ran and hid in a red woodshed at the edge of the woods behind Rotkovich’s yard.


Rotkovich flagged down the police, who captured the man in the shed, 100 yards north of Newark Elementary School.


Police believe the man is one of five robbers in Halloween masks who robbed Mid America Bank in Footville at 12:04 p.m. Friday.


Squad cars were thick as flies on the highways and back roads as police searched the area in a rough square between County K, County H, Mill Pond Road and Beloit-Newark Road.


A helicopter buzzed overhead while officers on four-wheelers bounced through grass strips between cornfields.


Contractor Andy Carney was working on windows on the back of a home at 10328 Highway 81 on Friday afternoon.


“I heard someone yelling, ‘Get down on the ground!” Carney said. “I figured if they were talking to their dog, they’d just say, ‘Lay down.’”


Carney ran around the house to see a black car squeal out of a driveway across the road and head east toward Beloit on Highway 81 followed by a sheriff’s squad car.


Both cars pulled a U-turn and headed back west toward Brodhead, Carney said.


“Other than about 50 squad cars, that’s all I saw,” Carney said.


Rotkovich was just glad his collie, Tawny, had been chained in the yard as the suspects and the officers ran through.


“She was pretty mad,” Rotkovich said. “She wanted to get down there and catch him herself.”



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