Public Safety

Monticello man sentenced to 5 years for robbing Springville bank

Distinctive tattoos helped police identify him

Joseph Kripner
Joseph Kripner

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Monticello man who robbed a Springville bank last summer on his birthday was sentenced Friday to five years in federal prison.

Joseph Jay Kripner, 46, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of bank robbery in August.

Kripner, during the plea hearings, admitted to being armed and robbing the Security State Bank on June 1, 2018.

Kripner’s distinctive tattoos on his neck and arms helped police identify him.

The neck tattoo is of red lips with the word “Always” above the lips and “Loved” beneath the lips.

The tattoo, and others on his arms, could be seen on bank surveillance photos, according to court documents.

During the plea hearing, Kripner admitted he told a bank teller he would use the firearm if she didn’t hand over the money.

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According to the criminal complaint, Kripner raised his shirt to show the handle of a black gun and placed a plastic shopping bag on the counter.

He told the bank teller to put money in the bag, saying, “Don’t make me pull it and point it at you,” according to the complaint.

The teller put $3,988 in the bag, as Kripner said, “I have nothing to lose,” according to court documents.

Authorities were aided in their arrest of Kripner by a tipster who called CrimeStoppers and identified a red Mitsubishi 3000 GT as being involved in the robbery.

The bank teller also was able to identify the suspect’s clothing and tattoos.

Investigators found Kripner and a woman were the registered owners of the car, court documents show. They also matched the suspect on the surveillance footage to Kripner’s Facebook profile and driver’s license photo.

Kripner fled to Colorado after robbing the bank, prosecutors said.

On June 18, National Park Service rangers arrested him in the Rocky Mountain National Park.

Kripner was found near the same car used in the bank robbery, and park rangers discovered $589 in cash, marijuana, live ammunition, and the pellet gun Kripner used in the robbery, court documents state.

During sentencing, U.S. District Chief Judge Leonard Strand also ordered Kripner to three years supervised release following his prison time.

l Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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