In the last 30 days Cass County has had bank robberies in Backus and Pine River, as well as the apprehension of a suspected armed burglar near Leader.
* Nov. 26 -- The Backus branch of the First National Bank of Walker was held up and Thomas Van Kleeck, 47, of Pequot Lakes, was charged with robbing $3,100 from the bank. Van Kleeck committed suicide in his jail cell Dec. 10.
A Nisswa police car rested against a stolen vehicle near Motley Dec. 20 at the conclusion of a 45-minute pursuit through Cass County. The suspect, Luke Daniel Johnson, 23, Staples, was shot by a Nisswa officer and now faces criminal charges. Brainerd Dispatch/File photoSTEVE KOHLS
* Dec. 17 -- Luke Daniel Johnson, 23, Staples, was wanted as a suspect in an armed robbery of a Motley family. Dec 20, he was shot at least once in the torso after leading law enforcement officers on a 45-minute pursuit that started just west of Pequot Lakes and ended in a field next to Highway 64, about seven miles north of Leader in Cass County. Johnson was being treated at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd, the Cass County Sheriff's Department reported, with formal charges pending.
* Dec. 22 -- Another armed bank robbery, this time in Pine River, took place and a suspect, Jeffrey D. Ross, 41, Ironton, was apprehended after a 45-minute chase that ended near Cass County Road 1, south of Pine River. Formal charges against Ross are pending.
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