bucket list bandit sentenced to 135 months in prison
Erie, PA – A former resident of Pensacola, Florida, has been sentenced in federal court to
135 months in prison and ordered to make restitution to the banks involved on his conviction of
bank robbery, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
Chief United States District Judge Sean M. McLaughlin imposed the sentence on Michael
According to information presented to the court, between June 21, 2012 and September 10,
2012, Brewster robbed eleven banks across the nation. In the course of the bank robbery spree
Brewster used a similar method of operation and entered each bank, without being disguised, wore
similar clothes, carried a dark leather notebook, presented demand notes containing similar
threatening language to each of the victim tellers and left the scene driving a 2009 black SUV,
which Brewster had stolen in Pensacola, Florida.
In his last bank robbery in Erie, Pennsylvania, on
September 10, 2012, Brewster entered the Huntington National Bank, located at 2185 West 12th
Street and presented a demand note, claiming that he had a gun and that the teller had one minute
to comply. Brewster then claimed to the teller that he had cancer and did not care what happened.
Brewster obtained bank proceeds and fled the area in a black SUV. Bank surveillance images and from area surveillance cameras clearly depicted Brewster and the vehicle he used.
Comparing the Erie Huntington Bank surveillance photographs with those from the ten other bank
robberies that had occurred throughout the United States confirmed that each robbery had been
committed by the same person. On September 12, 2012, the FBI received a tip that the bank robber
depicted in the surveillance photographs was Brewster. A review of Brewster's Florida driver's
license confirmed Brewster's identity as the bank robber. In addition, evidence disclosed that an
arrest warrant had been issued for Brewster alleging that he had stolen a black Chevy Captiva SUV
in Pensacola, Florida, on June 11, 2012. Once Brewster's identity had been established in the Erie,
Pennsylvania robbery, the FBI and law enforcement partners in the jurisdictions of the other ten
bank robberies confirmed his identity in those cases as well.
Brewster entered the Chase Bank at 5250 Wadsworth Boulevard in Arvada, Colorado, on
June 21, 2012, the Chase Bank at 1484 South Milton Road in Flagstaff, Arizona, on June 27, 2012;
and the Ireland Bank at 486 Yellowstone Avenue in Pocatello, Idaho, on July 6, 2012, and obtained
federally insured funds after presented a threatening note demanding money. In Roy, Utah, on July
6, 2012, Brewster entered the Wells Fargo Bank located at 5603 South 1900 West, and obtained
money after presenting a threatening demand note claiming that he had only four months to live.
In Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on July 20, 1012, Brewster entered a Bank of America at 1209
Silas Creek Parkway and presented a threatening demand note indicating that he had nothing to lose
and threatening to come back after the teller if any silent alarm was activated. Brewster obtained
no money from the Wells Fargo Bank. Then, at the Regions Bank at 360 West State Road 436 in
Altamonte Springs, Florida, on July 27, 2012, the BB&T bank at 2120 Gunbarrel Road in
Chattanooga, Tennessee, on August 3, 2012; the PNC bank at 2217 West Market Street in
Bloomington, Illinois, on August 17, 2012; the Lamdmark Bank at 202 North Stadium Boulevard in
Colombia, Missouri, on August 29, 2012; and the Lindell Bank at 4521 Highway K in O'Fallon,
Missouri, on August 30, 2012, Brewster obtained money after presenting threatening demand notes,
including a claim that he was armed with a gun.
On September 13, 2012, a police officer with the Roland Police Department in Roland,
Oklahoma, conducted a traffic stop of a black, 2009 Chevy Captiva vehicle and identified Brewster
as the driver and sole occupant. A fake Utah license plate had been affixed to the vehicle. A
computer check of Brewster's name revealed Brewster's outstanding arrest warrant in Pensacola,
Florida, for allegedly stealing the Chevy Captiva vehicle. Brewster was then taken into custody and
was found to be in possession of money from the Erie, Pennsylvania, Huntington bank robbery.
Among other items located in the Captiva vehicle was a handgun, money from the Erie,
Pennsylvania Huntington Bank robbery, the clothing worn by Brewster in the bank robberies as
depicted in the surveillance photographs and the leather notebook carried by Brewster into the
banks he robbed. Brewster was then arrested on the Erie, Pennsylvania, arrest warrant and he was
returned to the Western District of Pennsylvania to face federal prosecution.
Prior to imposing sentence, Judge McLaughlin commented on the fact that Brewster's claim
of a terminal disease was untrue and stated that, "The impetus for the crimes was simply greed, not
Assistant United States Attorney Marshall J. Piccinini prosecuted this case on behalf of the
U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation in each of the
jurisdictions, the Erie Bureau of Police, the Arvada Police Department, the Flagstaff Police
Department, the Pocatello Police Department, the Roy City Police Department, the Winston-Salem
Police Department, the Altamonte Springs Police Department, the Chattanooga Police Department,
the Bloomington Police Department, the Columbia Police Department, the O'Fallon Police
Department and the Roland Police Department for the investigations leading to the successful
prosecution of Brewster.