Out of nowhere he burst through the front door of the Citizens Trust Bank of Decatur, Georgia, on a hot September day in 2012. He marched straight to a teller station waving what appeared to be a semiautomatic handgun.
He pushed aside a customer in the middle of making a deposit and told the teller to “Give me all the hundreds you have.” He then pushed a pillowcase through the porthole of the teller’s glass window.
As the teller was putting cash from her drawer into the pillowcase, a bank security guard ordered the would-be robber to freeze and drop the gun. At that point the robber turned, pointed his weapon at the security guard and started moving toward him.
The guard squeezed off several shots, striking the robber in the leg. A bullet also grazed the leg of a bank teller, resulting in a serious injury. The guard detained the robber until DeKalb County cops and FBI agents arrived.
After the arrest, the weapon used was determined to be a toy gun.
Following a conviction at a jury trial in October 2014, Gerry Sanders, 42, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to 14 years and 6 months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release.
“This defendant’s use of a toy gun during an armed bank robbery led the security guard of the bank to fire his weapon several times, seriously harming not only the defendant, but also a bank teller,” said Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn. “His violent acts led to both physical and emotional injuries to innocent people.”
Fugitive Robber Nailed After 5 Years on the Run
Convicted bank robber Bradley Steven Robinett was on supervised release following a 2004 bank robbery conviction and a five-year prison stretch when he went off the rails and began a crime spree that covered two states.
Robinett was released from federal prison in 2009 and put on a bus for Seattle, Washington, under the condition that he report to a halfway house within 48 hours. He never kept the appointment and a warrant was issued for him as an escapee.
Shortly after, police on Bainbridge Island, Washington, tried to stop a car and a high-speed chase ensued. Robinett was driving. He ditched the car and fled on foot. Inside the car cops found a Glock 9mm pistol and a ballistic vest, both stolen from the Seattle Police Department years earlier. The vehicle he was driving was reported stolen in Oregon.
Robinett was spotted late in 2009 in Bellevue, Washington, but he gave Washington State Patrol detectives the slip.
That was it until June 2014 when cops using an automated license plate reader in a shopping mall parking lot in Hillsboro, Oregon, came across a stolen car. The officers waited for the driver to return and arrested Robinett without incident.
He has pleaded guilty to escape, being a felon in possession of a firearm and interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle. Sentencing is scheduled for May 2015.
In addition to his bank robbery conviction, Robinett has prior felony convictions for possession of stolen property, unlawful possession of a machine gun, car theft and burglary. He has been featured on the programs Washington’s Most Wanted and America’s Most Wanted.