News

Armored Car Driver Sentenced in Scheme to Steal $588,000 from Armored Car

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22, 2009

Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. sentenced Bennie Hugh Pelham, age 35, of Oxon Hill, Maryland, today to 18 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiring to steal over $588,000 from an armored car that he drove, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

According to his plea agreement, in June 2008, Pelham, Gary Lane and Edward Mayo developed a plan to steal money from an armored car belonging to a company that delivered and replenished Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) with cash for banks and financial institutions. At the time, Pelham worked as an ATM technician for the company. They agreed that Lane would steal money on a weekend from a specific armored car driven by Pelham because Pelham worked alone on weekends and his car’s driver’s-side door did not lock properly.

On Saturday, July 5, 2008, Pelham parked the armored car at a shopping center in Wheaton, Maryland and left the car to replenish an ATM with cash. Lane entered the car and stole $588,000. Pelham returned to the car, saw that Lane had stolen the money and telephoned 911, reporting the theft. Pelham portrayed himself as innocent of any wrongdoing and lied to police investigators about his knowledge of the money’s whereabouts and circumstances of the theft.

Later that day, Pelham met with Mayo and learned that Lane had taken a share of the stolen money and given the rest to Mayo to share with Pelham. Pelham and Mayo discussed how best to prevent the police from finding the stolen money and then asked Damon Pritchett, a childhood friend, to hide the money for them. Pritchett buried two bags containing $103,780 and $220,980 in two separate places in Temple Hills. Lane hid a third bag containing $280,000 of the stolen money in a closet at his residence. The money was later recovered by law enforcement.

Judge Williams sentenced Gary Gregory Lane, Jr., age 27, of Oxon Hill, to two years in prison and Edward Lewis Mayo, age 33, of Temple Hills, Maryland on February 27, 2009 to 14 months in prison. Damon Keith Pritchett, age 33, of Annapolis, Maryland was sentenced to two years probation with six months home detention.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Montgomery County Police Department, and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy and his office for their work in this investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorney Robert K. Hur, who prosecuted the case.

 

 

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