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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

Thursday, October 26, 2017

District Man Pleads Guilty to Robbing Southeast Washington Bank

Fingerprints and Surveillance Video Link Him to the Crime

            WASHINGTON – Syles Kealoha, 23, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to a federal bank robbery charge for a hold-up in August 2016 in Southeast Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, Andrew W. Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).


            Kealoha entered the plea in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He is to be sentenced on March 15, 2018 by the Honorable Rudolph Contreras. He faces a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison. Under federal sentencing guidelines, he faces a likely range of 30 to 37 months in prison and potential financial penalties


            According to the government=s evidence, on Aug. 12, 2016, at approximately 3:30 p.m., Kealoha entered a Wells Fargo bank in the unit block of M Street SE and presented a demand note which stated, “I didn’t come to hurt anyone. Give me all the money or everyone dies.” Kealoha also handed the teller a plastic bag in which to place the money. After reading the note, the teller ducked behind the counter and began placing money into the plastic bag, and pressed the panic button in the bank, triggering law enforcement response.


            After banging on the glass to get the teller’s attention, Kealoha fled, leaving the note behind, without obtaining any money. During the course of the investigation, law enforcement obtained video surveillance from the bank, which captured the bank robbery and showed the defendant. The demand note was sent to the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia for testing and analysis. Specifically, the note was tested for the presence of DNA and fingerprints or palm prints. Two palm prints were located on the note and were identified as belonging to Kealoha.


            Kealoha was arrested on March 27, 2017.


            In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Liu, Assistant Director in Charge Vale, and Chief Newsham commended the work of those who investigated the case from the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the Metropolitan Police Department. They also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the FBI Laboratory. They acknowledged the work of those who handled the case at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Jeannette Litz and Teesha Tobias, Legal Assistant Peter Gaboton, and Law Clerk Jennifer Newman. Finally, they commended the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory V. Cole who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
Updated October 26, 2017