An 18-year-old Minnesotan on the Cal Poly men’s basketball roster will face two felony charges stemming from his alleged involvement in a Wisconsin bank robbery Saturday morning, authorities said Wednesday.
Anthony Di Loreto of Minnetonka, Minn. will be arraigned today in Wisconsin’s Burnett County Circuit Court on charges of being a party to a robbery of a financial institution and possessing a short-barreled shotgun, Burnett County Sheriff Dean Roland said.
At Hennepin County District Court in Minnesota on Wednesday, Di Loreto waived his extradition hearing and will be returned to Wisconsin today, Roland said.
A university athletic department official said Wednesday that neither the school nor Cal Poly men’s basketball head coach Kevin Bromley would comment on the arrest or the status of Di Loreto until more information becomes available.
Di Loreto’s alleged 16-year-old accomplice (whose name has not been released) reportedly used Di Loreto’s shotgun Saturday morning to hold up Bremer Bank in Danbury, Wis. while Di Loreto waited nearby in a would-be getaway car.
“They had discussed robbing the bank before (leaving eastern Minnesota for western Wisconsin),” Roland said. “The juvenile was to go across the street and rob the bank when it opened in the morning, and (Di Loreto) was going to be the getaway driver.”
While the juvenile was waiting longer than planned to rob the bank, Roland said, he “lost communication” with a confused Di Loreto, who went to the bank to “see what was going on” and pretended to be interested in starting a student account in order not to look suspicious, before leaving and getting gas in the town without paying for it.
As Di Loreto drove around the town looking for the juvenile, Roland said, he noticed police cars heading in the bank’s direction, although they were actually responding to an automobile accident across the street from the bank, which the juvenile reportedly robbed at about 9:55 a.m.
A frightened Di Loreto proceeded to drive back to Minnetonka, Roland said, stranding the juvenile, who tried to leave the town on foot with about $1,000 he had stolen but was apprehended about 50 minutes later.
The juvenile then told authorities he was brought to town in Di Loreto’s blue Honda, Roland said.
After the license plate of the car involved in the gas theft was matched with that of Di Loreto’s vehicle, Minnetonka police took Di Loreto into custody in his hometown before he was booked into Hennepin County Jail, Roland said.
He was being held without bail while awaiting extradition, a jail official said Wednesday.
According to a court document faxed to the Mustang Daily by the Burnett County District Attorney’s Office, Di Loreto admitted to Minnetonka authorities he and the juvenile planned Friday night to rob the bank, and that he had been keeping his shotgun hidden in trees at a Minnetonka park.
Roland said he is mystified as to why Di Loreto, who hailed from a seemingly well-to-do, affluent household, would plan such a robbery.
“That’s the $64,000 question,” he said. “We don’t know.”
A phone message left Wednesday afternoon for Di Loreto, who is listed in Cal Poly’s directory as a business major, was not returned by press time. Nor was a phone message left for his parents at the address listed in the court document.
Di Loreto, a 7-foot, 215-pound center called a “top” recruit by Cal Poly when his signing with the school was announced Nov. 14, 2007, averaged 8.2 points per game as a senior at Hopkins High School in Minnetonka.
In the announcement, Bromley touted Di Loreto as “a seven-footer with a great deal of potential” who would “have a big impact playing in the Big West Conference.”