News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Former Grocery Store Clerk Sentenced To Five Years In Prison For Armed Bank Robbery

Defendant Blames Hard Times, Gambling Addiction for Crime

February 16, 2012

            A Bothell man, who robbed a Kirkland Bank of America at gunpoint, forcing the tellers and customers to lie on the floor, was sentenced today to five years in prison and three years of supervised release. ANTHONY RAY SHINDLER, 43, is also responsible for $1,703 in restitution, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  SHINDLER pleaded guilty in October 2011, to the August 5, 2011, robbery of a Kirkland branch of Bank of America.  At sentencing U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Zilly told him that “after reading the letters from the victims in this case, you can’t help but know that the fear and jeopardy the victims felt was devastating.”

            According to the records filed in the case, SHINDLER entered the bank wearing a hat and dark sunglasses, brandished a gun, and told all the customers and the employees to lie on the floor.  He ordered one teller to bring him the money from her drawer – approximately $3,000.  When SHINDLER left the bank, witnesses reported he drove off in a black truck.  The next day, a security employee of the Totem Lake QFC store called the FBI reporting that SHINDLER resembled the person in the bank robbery surveillance photos.  Other employees reported that SHINDLER drove a black truck and had been complaining about financial problems.  SHINDLER was arrested at the grocery store August 8, 2011.  He also admitted robbing a 7-11 store two weeks prior to the bank robbery.  SHINDLER claimed the pistol he brandished was not operable – but the bank customers and employees did not know that.  SHINDLER told investigators he had fallen on hard times, and had started gambling.

            In their sentencing memo, prosecutors highlighted the fear SHINDLER struck when he entered the bank with a gun.  “This was a potentially explosive situation that could have easily turned out much worse.  What if a customer or employee had fought back?  What if an armed security guard had also been inside? ….Moreover, being present and a victim of a bank robbery is a harrowing experience that cannot be underestimated.  Each of the letters to the Court from the victims of the offense describes the incredible fear they felt during the offense and the lasting impacts the robbery caused.”

            The case was investigated by the FBI, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas Brown.

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