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2nd suspect in 2018 Le Mars bank robbery pleads guilty

SIOUX CITY (KTIV) – The second suspect charged in a 2018 Le Mars bank robbery has pleaded guilty.

Karen Merrick pleaded guilty to Bank Robbery for her role in the Dec.  12, 2018 robbery of the Iowa State Bank, 301 Plymouth Street, in Le Mars. She previously pleaded not guilty back in February.

She could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $125,000. A sentencing date has not been set.

The other suspect in the case, Phillip White, pleaded guilty to bank robbery back in June. He is also awaiting sentencing.

According to a criminal complaint, on December 12, 2018, White drove Merrick to Le Mars inside a U-Haul truck and circled the bank several times, casing the bank.

White parked the U-Haul at The Brew parking lot next to the alley before entering the bank shortly before 2:30 p.m., and told a bank employee he wanted money and had a weapon.

According to the complaint, the teller gathered money from the drawer before giving it to White. White then ran back to the U-Haul with the money where Merrick was in the driver’s seat.

Police took chase of the truck, beginning west out of Le Mars on county road C38 before White and Merrick headed south on county road K18.

The truck was finally stopped more than 20-miles away, in southwestern Plymouth County after officers flattened the truck’s tires with stop sticks.

Police say all of the money stolen was recovered in the U-Haul van.

Blake Branch

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