Locked up 7 years for robbing banks, Mpls. man is charged in new holdup spree

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 12, 2012 - 8:12 PM
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Phillip L. Nietz, allegedly robbing the U.S. Bank at 711 Cleveland Av. S. in St. Paul on Sept. 13 .

Photo: Bank surveillance,

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A Twin Cities man has been caught rekindling his bank-robbing ways, returning to the scene of one of his earlier crimes during this go-around, authorities said Friday.

Phillip L. Nietz, 51, of Minneapolis, was charged Wednesday in federal court in Minneapolis with going on a late-summer spree and robbing four banks in the Twin Cities, netting more than $13,000.

He robbed a U.S. Bank at the Byerly's on County Road C in Roseville on Aug. 14 of $1,047; a TCF Bank at 1444 W. Lake St. in Minneapolis on Aug. 22 of $3,794; a Wells Fargo Bank at 1827 Grand Av. in St. Paul on Aug. 28 of $7,389; and a U.S. Bank at 711 Cleveland Av. S. in St. Paul on Sept. 13 of $1,045.

In the Sept. 13 holdup, he warned the teller that he had a gun but did not reveal a weapon, according to police.

In less than a week's time in June 2000, Nietz held up three Twin Cities banks. He was convicted in federal court and sentenced to more than eight years in prison, along with three years of supervised release.

He also was ordered to pay more than $22,000 in restitution to: Firstar Banks on E. 5th St. and Cleveland Avenue in St. Paul, and the same bank in the Roseville Byerly's that he's accused of robbing in this latest spree.

From 1987 to 2002, he was also sentenced in state court in Minnesota for check forgery, auto theft, theft, robbery and aggravated forgery.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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