Records: Alleged Wyndmere bank robber says she also planned to rob second bank, but got scared

‘I have a gun and I want all the money.’
Tessa Jaksa
Tessa Jaksa(Cass County Jail)
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 11:30 AM CDT
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WYNDMERE, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The woman accused of holding up a small town North Dakota bank earlier this week is now facing federal charges and documents say she had plans to rob another bank.

43-year-old Tessa Ann Marie Jaksa, of Moorhead, is charged with one federal count of bank robbery.

Federal documents say Jaksa walked into the Lincoln State Bank in Wyndmere shortly before 11 a.m. Monday and told a teller, ‘I have a gun and I want all the money.’ The teller told Jaksa that money was not available at her station and documents say Jaksa said ‘Where is all the money?’ before showing the bank teller a handgun.

Documents say Jaksa drove off with $7,147.

The Richland County Sheriff’s Office later released photos of the pickup Jaksa was believed to get away in, as well as surveillance photos of her dressed in construction gear and a mask.

Documents say shortly after officials released the photos, a witness contacted officers from the People’s State Bank in Fairmount, N.D., and stated they spotted a woman matching the one in the released photos. Documents say another person later reported spotting a pickup similar to the one in the photos in a Moorhead apartment parking lot. The Moorhead witness told officers when they tried to get a better look inside the vehicle, they saw a woman who appeared to be trying to hide items in her vehicle.

Moorhead Police responded to the apartment and located Jaksa, who stated she had been in Wyndmere the week previous, but was in and around the F-M metro that day. Jaksa agreed to let officers search her vehicle, where documents state they found several items that could be seen in the surveillance photos from the Wyndmere bank.

Documents say agents with the FBI soon showed up to the apartment as well. Documents say Jaksa told officers, ‘You don’t need to get all these people involved. I f***** up. I knew I messed up as soon as I did it.’

Jaksa then told investigators they could find what they were looking for in her garage, car and apartment, documents state.

Investigators say they found the stolen cash from the Lincoln State Bank in Jaksa’s apartment, along with a 9mm loaded pistol.

Court documents say Jaksa waived her right to remain silent before telling investigators she was planning to rob the bank for two weeks. Jaksa told investigators she purchased a police scanner to attempt to intercept police communications and had surveilled several small town banks.

Jaksa said she walked into the Fairmount bank shortly after the Wyndmere robbery with a loaded gun, with intentions to rob it, documents allege. Jaksa stated she knew it was wrong and got scared and eventually went back out to her car.

Jaksa is being held at the Cass County Jail. Her next hearing is set for July 23.

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