Bancroft Man Sentenced for Bank Robbery and Firearms Charges
United States Attorney Joseph P. Kelly announced that Lenn W. Zuhlke, age 56, of Bancroft, Nebraska, was sentenced today by the Honorable Laurie Smith Camp having previously pled guilty to aiding and abetting a bank robbery at the First Bank of Bancroft. Zuhlke was sentenced to 17 months’ imprisonment and 2 years’ supervised release.
On April 20, 2017, Zuhlke drove Jeffrey Bonneau to pick up an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) that Bonneau had previously stolen. While in Zuhlke’s vehicle, Bonneau changed his clothes and covered his face. Zuhlke knew Bonneau was going to rob a bank. At approximately 5:35 p.m., Jeffrey Bonneau rode the stolen ATV to the First Bank of Bancroft and parked it on the sidewalk. He was wearing a dark motorcycle helmet, camouflage clothing and gloves. He entered the bank and demanded money from the teller, He was given $6,745.00 and then fled the bank on the ATV. He was tracked to a wooded grove near 2345 R Road. At one point he told officers he had a gun and fired a shot in the air. After he fired the shot, Bonneau fled again through the grove and was ultimately arrested after he crashed the ATV. He was taken to Pender Hospital and it was found he had methamphetamine in his system. All of the money was recovered. There was no evidence he used or possessed the gun during the bank robbery. Prior to Bonneau crashing, the plan was for Zuhlke to pick him up and get a share of the robbery proceeds.
Bonneau previously pled guilty to the robbery and possession of a firearm by a user of a controlled substance. He received a 30-month sentence for both charges and was ordered to serve them both at the same time.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bancroft Police Department, Cuming County Sheriff’s Department and Nebraska State Patrol.