San Antonio man pleads guilty in several Austin bank robberies

Willie Cleveland

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A San Antonio man plead guilty on Thursday to a string of bank robberies along Interstate 35. Authorities said Willie James Cleveland, 34, robbed three banks in Austin, one in San Marcos, one in New Braunfels and four more in San Antonio The robberies occurred between Feb. 12 and April 18.

Police estimate Cleveland stole a total of more than $50,000 in the robberies. They also said he assaulted, or put a bank employee’s life in jeopardy, on three different occasions.

Cleveland is also accused of robbing a woman in February in a North Austin Target parking lot. Austin police said Cleveland confronted the woman Feb. 24 at the Tech Ridge Shopping Center, grabbed her purse and then pulled her to the ground.

He was arrested by San Antonio Police Department detectives on April 20, where he has remained in federal custody. By pleading guilty, Cleveland agrees to pay restitution for all nine bank robberies, he also faces up to 25 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine on each of the two bank robbery counts. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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