UPDATE: Wyndmere bank robber sentenced

Tessa Jaksa
Tessa Jaksa(Cass County Jail)
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 12:09 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 6, 2023 at 5:53 PM CDT
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WYNDMERE, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A woman has been sentenced to more than four years in prison for holding up a small town North Dakota bank in July 2021.

Tessa Ann Marie Jaksa now stands convicted on one federal count of bank robbery after she drove off with thousands of dollars from a Wyndmere bank. A North Dakota District Court judge sentenced Jaksa to 51 months in prison, three years of supervised probation and ordered Jaksa to pay $7,454 in restitution.

Federal documents say Jaksa walked into the Lincoln State Bank on July 19, 2021 and told a teller, ‘I have a gun and I want all the money.’ 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.

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****d up. I knew I messed up as soon as I did it.’

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

Jaksa pleaded guilty in federal court at the end of July 2022. Prosecutors state in court documents Jaksa ‘has demonstrated a genuine acceptance of responsibility.’

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