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Fridley Man Pleads Guilty to Robbing Local Bank with 'I Gun' Note

He made news for a note that read 'Give money, I gun.'

A Fridley man pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to robbing the TCF Bank branch at 250 57th Ave. NE, Fridley, according to the U.S. Attorney's office for the District of Minnesota. 

Joe Nathan Michael, 48, admitted to stealing $1,991 from the bank on May 27, 2010, after giving a teller a note with the message "Give money, I gun." Then, with his hand in his jacket pocket as if he had a gun, he warned the teller not to push an alarm button and said “Do you want me to shoot you?”

After getting cash and stuffing it into his jacket, Michael went from the bank to a bus stop at 57th and University avenues where Fridley police apprehended him, bills spilling from his jacket.

Michael faces as many as 20 years in prison for a single count of bank robbery. U.S. District Courty Chief Judge Michael J. Davis is due to sentence Michael at a future hearing that is not yet scheduled.

Fridley police and the FBI worked together on the investigation. Fridley Lt. Mike Monsrud said his department is pleased with the outcome of the case.

"The successful prosecution of this case was made possible by the excellent observation skills of the first responding officers" who spotted Michael moment after he left the bank, Monsrud said by email Wednesday.

Fridley detectives devoted "many hours putting together copious amounts of evidence" for the U.S. Attorney, he said.

"It is always a relief to remove a violent criminal from our community," Monsrud said.

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