'Man in Black' admits robbing 31 banks


The bank robbery suspect known as the "Man in Black" has abandoned his defense and now admits he committed all 13 of the holdups he was charged with -- and 18 others, as well.

Mark Wetsch entered into a plea agreement with federal prosecutors Monday. The Pioneer Press reports he pleaded guilty to five counts of armed bank robbery, but acknowledged under questioning that he robbed 31 banks. The newspaper reports he averaged one holdup every eight days during 2011.

Many of the banks he robbed were in small towns across southern Minnesota. The black clothing he wore in most of the heists became a trademark. Wetsch was finally arrested on January 3, 2012, after robbing a Brewster, Minn., bank of $1,880.

The guilty plea is a reversal for Wetsch, who was representing himself in court. He first pleaded not guilty and claimed earlier this year that prosecutors had a vendetta against him because he is a sympathizer with the Islamic terrorist group al-Shabaab.

The Pioneer Press reports Wetsch could be sentenced to 14 years or more in prison. No sentencing date was set.

Next Up

protest, chauvin, george floyd

Walz: Demobilization of troops, police to happen 'as quickly as possible'

It's unclear just when troops and police will pull out of the Twin Cities.

Screen Shot 2021-04-20 at 5.33.13 PM

'The first step towards justice': AG Ellison calls for change after Chauvin conviction

Ellison's office led the prosecution of the former Minneapolis police officer.


Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts in George Floyd's death

Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Screen Shot 2021-04-20 at 4.13.07 PM

LIVE UPDATES: Reaction as Derek Chauvin is found guilty on all counts

We bring you the latest reaction after the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.

Derek Chauvin

Watch live: Verdict in Derek Chauvin murder trial

The verdict will be announced between 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 20.

derek chauvin court - closing arguments

Verdict reached in Derek Chauvin murder trial

A verdict will be read Tuesday afternoon.

logan olson gofundme

18-month-old boy who nearly drowned welcomed home with police escort

Logan Olson was found in a retention pond in Stewartville on April 7.

covid, vaccine

Is Minnesota's latest surge plateauing? Expert says 'no idea'

Hospital admissions have leveled off in the past week, though ICU cases have risen.


'Man in Black' tries on new outfit, robs yet another bank

Authorities think the man who hit a Hopkins bank Monday evening is the now-infamous "Man in Black" they've been pursuing after a rash of bank heists across the metro over the past several weeks. The Star Tribune says descriptions of the perpetrator are nearly identical, but he's apparently traded in his black sweatshirt for a tan jacket.