By Rachel Slavik, WCCO-TV

ELYSIAN, Minn. (WCCO) — A 70-year-old Janesville, Minn. woman has been arrested on suspicion of robbing a bank in LeSueur County Wednesday afternoon and the 26-year-old man who drove her there, thinking that he was doing a good deed, ended up being her unsuspecting getaway driver.

According to the county sheriff’s office, Sandra Leanne Bathke has been taken into custody for allegedly robbing the Elysian State Bank. When she walked into the bank Wednesday afternoon, she looked like the typical customer.

“You don’t suspect an old lady,” said Jim Hansen, vice president of Elysian Bank.

Police said a bank teller claimed Bathke approached the counter and demanded money, claiming she had a gun.

“I told them, ‘Lock the bank.’  I ran to my pickup, and I caught up with them at the edge of town. I followed them, just wanted to see where they were going,” Hansen said.

Bathke was given an undisclosed amount of cash and was seen getting into a black car. It was later determined that the driver of the car was 26-year-old Luke Even Weimert.

Hansen followed the car to an apartment in Janesville, but noticed something strange. Weimert, the driver, wasn’t speeding or driving erratically.

“I started thinking, maybe the driver didn’t know it was happening,” said Hansen.

Turned out Hansen was right.  Weimert, who faces unrelated charges in Blue Earth County, was trying to get rent payment from Bathke when he offered to drive her to the bank.  When they arrived back at her apartment, Sheriff’s deputies and police were waiting.

“He was dumbfounded when he was taken down at gunpoint.  She made a very wrong choice. Can’t go that route,” said Le Sueur County Sheriff Tom Doherty.

Bathke will not face federal charges.  Sheriff Doherty said she will only face charges at the state and county levels.

Luke Weimert

(credit: CBS)

Although Weimert claimed he didn’t know that Bathke planned to rob the bank, he was still taken into custody on an outstanding warrant from Blue Earth County.

WCCO-TV’s Rachel Slavik Reports

Comments (23)
  1. Chris says:

    She will get 10 years in the Feds. They have no mercy on the Elderly.

  2. Billy says:

    What a great grandma!! You go girl.

  3. Moni says:

    Now thats a down grandma!!! Billy wanted a WII, and she was gonna make sure he got one!!

  4. rsm says:

    Well her rent will be paid for 5 to 15 years.

  5. roni says:

    I think this is sad. She was obviously desparate. Hard times out there make people do things they wouldn’t normally do.

  6. Ted says:

    Hey baby, you must’ve been something before electricity!

  7. kevin says:

    Thanks for the idea Grand Ma…….My rent is coming due…….

  8. Debbie says:

    Obama calls this Deficit spending. It is find for them in Washington, DC. And it only hurts the Tax Payers and their kids. It’s not a crime, only if you are a 70 yr old woman trying to pay rent. If you didn’t use a gun, you get to go to a Camp, no fence and plenty of trees to walk in.

  9. Jim says:

    Lisa, ironic comment from someone with the last name “Rodriguez”

  10. Murph says:

    Jail senators and congressmen,not starving old ladies!Guess she got her notice that while everything is going up social security is still too little!

  11. joe says:

    It’s obvious she did it as a retirement plan.

  12. CR says:

    Bucket list gone wrong!

  13. markH says:

    Please, take the time to investigate how punctuation can help you construct a coherent sentence.

  14. Michele says:

    This is so sad it’s unbelivable. Where is her family or social services..oh that’s right, we don’t have any social service’s or funds to help anyone, except the wealthy and they don’t help anyone but themselves.

    I really hope she get’s the help she needs and not prison time.

    1. bri-unit says:

      You think the wealthy don’t help anybody but themselves? Who do you think holds galas and benefits, and fundraising for chairities. You know what is wrong with society??Class warfare. She could have walked into any church and they would have helped her out, probably even given her a few hundred dollars to spare.

      1. bri-unit says:

        Exactly what I am talking about. I am sure this person is wealthy:
        I said, I just love these mysterious envelopes because you never know what little goody you are going to find on the inside. And we opened it up and it was a check for $40,000,” Deters said.

        Deters says $40,000 can purchase 37,600 meals.

  15. don't agree says:

    Help she Needs??? Lets give all of the criminals the help they need insted of jail time would you be comfortable with that? She chose to Rob the Bank, She chose the consequences for those actions, it don’t matter how old she is, matter of fact you would expect someone of this age to act in a 70 year old manner, not do somthing childish and rob a bank…

  16. Before you Know it says:

    It’s disturbing that a 70 year old women would turn to bank robbery to pay for rent. I wonder what she was thinking? Anyway you look at it, the tax payers are going to have to pay for her care now.

  17. Trish says:

    I feel for Luke!! Though he was doing a good deed and ends up in this mess! I knew him in college, nice guy! Hope he can put this behind Him!

  18. Minnesota says:


  19. Minnesota says:

    I heard she was packing a pair of sawed off knitting needles?