Public Safety

Monticello man's tattoos, car help police nab him in bank robbery

Crimestopper's tip also aids police

A still photo taken from the Security State Bank surveillance system was used to identify Joseph Kripner.
A still photo taken from the Security State Bank surveillance system was used to identify Joseph Kripner.

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Monticello man’s car and distinctive tattoos helped police identify him as a suspect in a Springville bank robbery earlier this month.

Court documents show a tipster called CrimeStoppers and identified a red Mitsubishi 3000 GT as being involved in the June 1 robbery at Security State Bank in Springville.

And a bank teller also was able to identify the suspect’s clothing and tattoos on his arms and neck.

The registered owner of the car was Joseph Jay Kripner, 46, and a woman. When an investigator looked up Kripner’s Facebook profile and driver’s license photo, they matched the suspect on the surveillance footage from the bank. 

Court documents state the surveillance photos also show the tattoos on Kripner’s arms and neck, which has the word “Always” tattooed above red lips and the word “Loved” below the lips.

Kripner was arrested last week in Colorado and will be returned to Cedar Rapids by U.S. marshals.

He is charged with one count of bank robbery in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids.


The complaint states that a Security State Bank teller said the robber raised his shirt to show the handle of a black gun and placed a plastic shopping bag on the counter.

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

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

The teller told investigators the robber had the gun partially exposed throughout the robbery and then pulled his shirt down when he left with the money.

According to an affidavit with the criminal complaint, Kripner’s birthday was June 1, the day of the robbery.

An unknown person called the Waterloo Police Department’s CrimeStoppers tip line later that day with information about the vehicle used in the robbery.

Court documents show investigators also have video from surveillance cameras in Springville of Kripner’s car near the bank and of Kripner at a Casey’s General Store, paying for gas before the robbery.

If convicted, Kripner faces up to 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release following prison.

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

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