News and Press Releases

Pittsburgh Woman Sentenced To 19 Years In Prison For Armed Bank Robbery Of Ligonier Bank

August 27, 2010

PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ A resident of Pittsburgh, Penn., has been sentenced in federal court to 235 months in prison followed by 5 years supervised release and ordered to pay $169,520.34 in restitution on her conviction of armed bank robbery, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Senior United States District Judge Alan N. Bloch imposed the sentence yesterday on Sarah Blair a/k/a Sarah Jay, age 35.

According to information presented to the court, on Aug. 4, 2008, Blair and another individual traveled to the First Commonwealth Bank on Route 30 in Ligonier, Penn., and cased the bank.  Then, on Aug. 6, 2008, in the morning hours prior to the bank robbery, Blair and others carjacked a minivan that was later used in the robbery.  At approximately 9:30 a.m., Blair and others committed a take‑over style armed robbery of the First Commonwealth Bank on Route 30 ordering all of the bank victims to lay face down on the floor. Simultaneous with the robbery, one of Blair's co‑defendants created a distraction for the police by shooting into the window of a Dollar General Store located across town from the bank.  All of the robbers fled from the area in a limousine.  As a result of the robbery, Blair and others obtained $76,694.00 in U.S. currency.

Assistant United States Attorney Almon S. Burke, Jr. prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Ligonier Township Police Department, the Westmoreland County District Attorney's Office, the New Kensington Police Department, the Ligonier Borough Police Department, the Lower Burrell Police Department, and the Derry Police Department for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Blair.

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