Robber in four-year-old bank case sentenced

Photo courtesy of Forest Lake Police Department
Surveillance footage from 2013 captured a then-unidentified woman (later revealed to be Brianna Rice) running from the Forest Lake Cub Foods after robbing the TCF Bank inside.

The resolution to a four-year-old bank robbery in Forest Lake was reached Aug. 10, when Brianna Nicole Rice, 31, of New Richmond, Wisconsin, was sentenced for second-degree robbery in Washington County Court. Rice had remained unidentified after her robbery of the TCF Bank in Cub Foods for a few years until DNA evidence linked her to the crime.

According to court records, the robbery occurred on Oct. 2, 2013 around 1 p.m., when a then-unidentified woman approached the teller station and gave an employee a note reading, “Give me all the money in your drawer now! No dye packs or touching the silent alarm. No following me. Wait 3 minutes and call the police. I do have a gun, and I will use it on you.” The teller gave the robber $5,322, and the woman left Cub, ran through the parking lot and drove away in a GMC Envoy.

Surveillance video showed that the woman had entered the store the previous day, and at the time, police told the public they believed she’d cased at least two other banks in the area. Surveillance images of the woman were released to the public, but she was not found or identified.

Though they hadn’t found the woman, police had recovered her DNA. The same day as the robbery, a resident on 232nd Street North (north of Cub Foods) told police he had found clothing and what appeared to be a different draft of the robbery note at the bottom of his trash can (the notes were similar in tone, but the note found in the garbage contained slightly different wording and demanded money from “both drawers”). The clothes appeared to be the ones worn by the robber in the surveillance video, and law enforcement collected DNA samples from them.

Two and a half years later, in April 2016, the DNA from the clothing was matched by DNA taken from Rice by the Wisconsin State Crime Lab in Madison (Rice was being investigated for credit card fraud, identity theft, property theft and misappropriation of identifying materials, police reported). Her physical description also matched the robber, and she was ultimately charged with the 2013 crime. She was sentenced to 10 years of probation and must pay a fine and restitution.

Assault

The Forest Lake man who was involved in an assault with a crossbow at the Forest Lake YMCA in early August has been charged in Washington County Court.

Edward Michael Meusburger, 38, was charged with first-degree aggravated robbery and two counts of second-degree assault. He was arrested by Forest Lake police Aug. 3 after an assault call at the YMCA shortly before 11 a.m.

According to court records, around 10:40 a.m., Meusburger entered the Y’s family locker room, assembled the crossbow, and hit an 81-year-old man on the head. Shortly thereafter, he allegedly left the locker room and began pointing the crossbow at people; eventually, he approached a 50-year-old woman and demanded money while training the crossbow on her. He then allegedly hit her in the head repeatedly.

At some point after that, Meusburger’s relative and personal care attendant located him and got him to drop the crossbow, at which point it was recovered and secured by a YMCA staff member. Police were told by the PCA that Meusburger is mentally ill, and Meusburger allegedly threatened to kill an officer. While Meusburger was being transported to a hospital for an emergency medical hold, he was searched, and a note was found that stated that he was going to “kill and rob someone at the YMCA.”