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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


BRADLEY J. SCHLOZMAN



Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html



MARCH 1, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


OMAHA WOMAN SENTENCED FOR

TWO BANK ROBBERIES


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Bradley J. Schlozman, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Omaha, Neb., woman was sentenced in federal court today for the same-day robberies of two banks in the Northland area of Kansas City, Mo.


            Sharon M. Steele, 41, of Omaha, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ortrie D. Smith this morning to one year and six months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Steele to pay $11,453 in restitution. Schlozman noted that the sentence reflects the court’s consideration of Steele’s cooperation with law enforcement officers regarding another defendant charged in a separate case in the District of Nebraska.


            On Nov. 21, 2006, Steele pleaded guilty to both charges contained in a federal indictment. Steele admitted that she stole $8,772 from the Commerce Bank at 5801 N.W. Barry Rd., in Kansas City-North, on May 5, 2006. Steele entered the bank at about 10:35 a.m. She approached a teller, placed a brown duffel bag on the counter and stated, "Give me all the money in the top and bottom drawer." As the teller placed the money on the counter, she said, "Push it over to me. Don't use any jerky motions. I don't want anyone to know." As Steele placed the money in the bag, she examined each bundle of cash. She then said, "No noise until I'm out the door." She then turned and walked out of the bank through the front doors. She was then observed walking south past the east windows of the lobby.


            Steele also admitted that she stole $2,681 from the US Bank at 6161 N.W. Barry Rd., in Kansas City-North, on the same day. Immediately following the Commerce Bank robbery, she entered U.S. Bank, approached a teller and stated, “Act calm. Don't do anything stupid. Give me all the money in your top and bottom drawers." Steele took the money and exited the bank through the front doors.


            Following an anonymous tip, law enforcement officers sent surveillance photos from the US Bank robbery to be shown to employees at Enterprise Bank in Omaha, Neb., where Steele was employed. A supervisor and a fellow employee at Enterprise Bank identified Steele as the person in the photographs. She turned herself in to the FBI in Omaha and provided a voluntary confession.


            This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney K. Michael Warner. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html