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Community members react to bank robber now behind bars

An Illinois man is in the Tippecanoe County jail Wednesday night after police said he is responsible for several bank robberies.

Posted: Oct 23, 2019 11:38 PM
Updated: Oct 24, 2019 10:18 AM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- An Illinois man is in the Tippecanoe County jail Wednesday night after police said he is responsible for several bank robberies.

Police said 41-year-old Joseph Kruger was the fake-bearded man behind a rash of local robberies within the last six months.

"I mean it happens," said Lafayette native Kenneth Thompson. "You can't stop nobody from doing what they want to do."

Kenneth Thompson said he's thankful Lafayette Police caught Kruger.

"That's their job," said Thompson. "To catch a thief like Leonardo DiCaprio. Catch me if you can.

Melissa Smith agrees with Thompson.

"Can't stop a person if they want to do they are going to do it anyway," said Smith.

LPD said Kruger is behind various bank robberies happening all over our viewing area.

Smith said it's sad to see somebody turn to bank robberies as a means to live.

"I feel sorry if they have to rob a bank to live," said Smith.

"That's the way the ball bounces," said Thompson. "That's the way cookie crumbles and that's the way life is lived."

Allana Karlson put it matter of factly.

"It's great," said Karlson. "People should not go around robbing banks so it's good they caught them."

Kruger would for most of the bank robberies wear a fake beard and sometimes he wore wigs or hats or sunglasses.

Karlson said she couldn't believe those disguises worked.

"It's a possibility I guess," said Karlson. "Since he had such a terrible disguise and got away with it so many times. There are people out there who think I can probably rob six and get away with it."

Of course, he hasn't gotten away with it yet.

Kruger was arrested Wednesday morning in a Shelbyville hotel.

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