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‘Bizarre’ offense, 21-year-old Appleton man sentenced to 14 years for robbery

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APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – A 21-year-old from Appleton is sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for robbing a credit union.

The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin made the announcement about Xengxai Yang Thursday.

Following a bench trial in Oct. 2020, the Senior United States District Judge William C. Griesbach found Yang guilty of Armed Bank Robbery, Brandishing a Short-Barreled Rifle During a Crime of Violence, and Possession of a Short-Barreled Rifle.

According to a release, Yang entered a credit union on the west side of Appleton on March 15, 2019.

Yang wore a black plastic theater mask, sunglasses, and a black hooded sweatshirt with the hood up and his head covered.

As he approached the counter, the report says Yang pulled out a short-barreled shotgun and demanded money from the teller.

Yang held the tellers at gunpoint while they gave him the money in their cash drawers and placed it in a bag.

Before Yang exited the credit union, he restrained employees with cable ties and then left on foot.

Officers with the Appleton Police Department arrested Yang almost a block away and recovered over $10,000 in cash.

The release says Yang admitted robbing the credit union, telling an Appleton detective that he “decided to try something new today, so I robbed a bank.”

The rifle used during the robbery had a barrel of 9.5 inches and was illegal for Yang to own.

Chief Judge Griesbach noted that the offense was “bizarre” in light of a lack of previous criminal history, but also stated “no civilized society can tolerate this.” 

After Yang completes his 168-month sentence, he will be on supervised release for a total of five years.

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