LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The serial bank robber who robbed multiple banks across Tippecanoe county will face 40 years in the DOC. As we previously reported, he accepted a plea bargain in February of three counts of Robbery, one count Conspiracy to Commit Robbery and a Habitual Offender sentence enhancement.
According to court documents, Kruger is claiming his gambling addiction is what lead him to rob several area banks throughout the fall of 2019. He was on parole from federal prison in Illinois when he came to Tippecanoe County and committed the crimes. He said he tried calling 1-800 numbers to get help for his addiction, but they didn't work.
He told the court he was thankful no one was hurt as a result of his actions and he hoped those who he had encountered during the robberies can forgive him.
"He has earned his time in prison for what he did to those employees at the banks and the public," said Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Patrick Harrington. "He put them through a tremendous amount of emotional trauma that they will never forget."
Kruger was arrested by a SWAT team at the Holiday Inn Express in Shelbyville Indiana in October of 2019. He was staying there on a comped room from the Indiana Grand Racing and Casino. The casino is owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment. The company has banned Kruger from its facilities for life. He also owes money to the casino.
Judge Steven Meyer said what Kruger did was horrible and dangerous to this community and he did not feel Kruger would be a good candidate for probation. Harrington agrees.
"The system hasn't failed Mr. Kruger, he's failed us," he said. "He's had multiple opportunities to be rehabilitated and each time he comes out he commits more crimes."
Kruger will serve his 40-year sentence consecutively. He currently has an outstanding warrant in Clark County Indiana. Kruger told the judge today that he plans to appeal his sentence. He also has to pay $1,923 to Centier Bank in restitution.
As we previously reported, Kruger was suspected of playing a role in the Centier Bank robbery on August 5, the Regions Bank robbery on August 26, The Horizon's Bank robbery on October 3, and the Centier Bank robbery on October 22.