Man confesses to 10 area bank robberies - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Man confesses to 10 area bank robberies

IOWA CITY (KWWL) -- Police say 23 year-old Jay Harkless confessed to 10 area bank robberies after items linked to the robberies were found in his apartment.

Iowa City police responded to reports of a robbery at a Rent-a-Center on Gilbert Street Thursday evening. The victim told police a man handed an employee a note demanding money. An officer noticed a suspicious vehicle leaving the area. That vehicle led officers to Harkless.

Officers found money consistent in denomination with what was stolen from the Rent-a-Center, as well as marijuana in Harkless' possession. Police say Harkless was brought to the station after being charged with drug possession and confessed to the Rent-a-Center robbery.

A search of Harkless' apartment turned up items police believed to be linked to several area robberies. When questioning Harkless about these items, police say he confessed to bank robberies at the following locations.

  • West Bank in Iowa City
  • Midwest One Bank in Iowa City
  • Lincoln Savings Bank in Cedar Falls
  • Community National Bank in Cedar Falls
  • Iowa Community Credit Union in Cedar Falls
  • Wells Fargo in Cedar Falls
  • Veridian Credit Union in Cedar Falls
  • Veridian Credit Union in Waterloo
  • Midwest One Bank in North Liberty
  • Central State Bank in Muscatine

The robberies happened during 2008 and 2009. Area police departments have been working together with the Department of Criminal Investigations and the FBI.

Iowa City Police have charged Harkless with 2nd Degree Robbery for the Rent-a-Center, West Bank and Midwest One Bank robberies. Cedar Falls Police also plan to charge Harkless with 5 additional counts of 2nd Degree Robbery. Additional charges are expected.

Cedar Falls police say Harkless lived in Cedar Falls during 2008 and part of 2009, but is currently living in Iowa City.

Online Producer: Jenn Jarvis

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