A fugitive sex offender from Wisconsin has admitted to robbing two banks in Minnesota six weeks apart this year and another in Oregon in between. His capture came shortly after he declared his love for his getaway driver and fled in vain.
Eric A. Ebbers, 25, who has recently lived in southeastern Wisconsin, pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Minneapolis to holding up the Citizens Bank in Hutchinson, Minn., on July 17, a crime that included him fleeing police in a car at speeds topping 100 miles per hour.
Ebbers also admitted to robbing the Alliance Bank in Lake City, Minn., on June 4 and the Key Bank in Gresham, Ore., on June 25. He came away with $8,100 in Lake City and $3,251 in Oregon.
According to his plea agreement and other court documents:
In the Hutchinson holdup on July 17, Ebbers gave the teller a note demanding money and warned that he had a gun. Ebbers was given $5,770, and he ran to a vehicle with a driver waiting.
"Floor it, drive, go, Baby, go!" he told accomplice Erica L. Reeves, 25.
A McLeod County sheriff's deputy tried to stop the vehicle, but the car accelerated. During the highway chase, the car exceeded 100 mph, wove around traffic and passed a police roadblock.
Authorities disabled the car with a spiked "stop stick." Ebbers told Reeves he loved her and ran into a cornfield.
Reeves was shown a surveillance photo of Ebbers and identified him as the robber. He was apprehended about 15 miles from the cornfield.
Ebbers told authorities he walked away from a halfway house for registered sex offenders in Racine, Wis., shortly before the three robberies because his supervised release was about to be revoked and he didn't want to serve the remaining 18 months of his sentence in prison.
Sentencing has yet to be scheduled.
Reeves, of Selah, Wash., has pleaded not guilty.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482