Armed Bank Robber Sentenced 10 Years in Prison

October 21, 2010

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg sentenced Thurston Sanders, age 58, of Lanham, Maryland, today to 10 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for armed bank robbery and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Anne Arundel County Police Chief James Teare, Sr.

According to evidence presented at Sanders’ trial, on April 9, 2009, Sanders entered the PNC Bank at 3386 Laurel Fort Meade Road in Laurel, wearing a wig and fake facial hair. Witnesses testified that Sanders walked into the manager’s office and displayed an Uzi-styled gun and demanded money. Sanders took the manager from the office to the area behind the teller lines, holding the gun at her back the whole time, and demanded money from the three tellers behind the teller line. Witnesses testified that as he left the bank, Sanders pointed the gun at one of the tellers. Sanders stole $12,873.13 from the bank.

According to evidence presented at trial, shortly after the robbery, an employee of a hotel located immediately behind the bank, pointed out a hotel room which an individual fitting the description of the robber had entered. The room had been rented by Sanders, who came out of the room at the direction of law enforcement. A subsequent search of the hotel room recovered the stolen money, including bait bills and electronic trackers taken from the bank; a bullet-proof vest; the disguise worn during the robbery; and two guns, including the Uzi-style weapon described by the witnesses to the robbery.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI and Anne Arundel County Police Department for their work in this investigation and thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Bonnie S. Greenberg and Justin S. Herring, who prosecuted the case.

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