Janesville man admits he helped rob bank

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Kevin Murphy
April 3, 2010
— A Janesville man admitted in federal court Friday that he helped rob a Juneau County bank at gunpoint in December 2008.

“Me and Richard (Molinaro) went into the bank, and I pulled a gun and got (the tellers) to open (the) safety deposit boxes,” Thomas A. Senge told U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb.

Senge, 59, also known as Thomas A. Steele, said he also took money from the teller “registers.” Senge and Molinaro fled the Farmers State Bank in Union Center after ordering the tellers into a bathroom.

No one was charged in connection with the offense until earlier this year when Molinaro, 36, of Tomah was indicted for bank robbery. He subsequently pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against Senge. Molinaro will be sentenced Monday, April 26.

Like Molinaro, Senge had prior convictions before being indicted last month for the Union Center bank robbery. Senge agreed to plead guilty after Molinaro agreed to cooperate with authorities, according to court records.

The day before the bank robbery, Senge and Molinaro met and discussed burglarizing homes to get money before deciding on the bank robbery, Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim O’Shea said.

During the robbery, Senge wore a hooded sweatshirt and waved a .25-caliber handgun, a gun Molinaro had purchased at a yard sale for Senge, O’Shea said.

After the robbery, Senge threw away the gun, O’Shea said.

At his June 17 sentencing, Senge faces a maximum of 25 years in prison on the robbery charge and seven years to life in prison after also pleading guilty to using a firearm to commit robbery.

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