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Justice News

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

Thursday, September 13, 2018

“Winter Hat” Robber Sentenced to 11 Years in Federal Prison for Seven Bank Robberies

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel sentenced Harrison Lewis III, age 54, of Catonsville, Maryland, today to 11 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for six counts of bank robbery and one count of attempted bank robbery.   A federal jury convicted Lewis of those charges on May 18, 2018.  Lewis was dubbed the “winter hat” robber due to the hats he wore during the robberies as part of his disguise.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur and Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.

According to the evidence presented at his five-day trial, Lewis committed bank robberies in Catonsville on December 28, 2016, January 5, 2017, January 6, 2017, January 11, 2017; a robbery and an attempted robbery on January 19, 2017 in Ellicott City; and a robbery on January 30, 2017 in Phoenix, Maryland.   According to evidence presented at trial, Lewis entered each bank wearing a hat and sunglasses, approached the teller, passed the teller a note that demanded U.S. currency, and then fled the bank after the teller complied and handed over cash.  The notes referenced an armed partner outside the bank, and instructed the tellers to not use any security measures such as alarms, dye packs, bait money, or tracking devices.  Lewis also demanded the notes back from the tellers.

As to the January 19, 2017 attempted robbery, Lewis, entered a bank wearing a disguise, including a hat and sunglasses, passed a note, and then fled the bank after the teller told him that she could not read it.  Minutes later, while wearing the same disguise, Lewis walked less than 100 yards down the street to another bank, again passed a note demanding money, and fled after the teller complied and handed over cash.

At his trial in May, the jury was unable to reach a verdict on charges relating to robberies that took place on December 31, 2016 in Sykesville and January 10, 2017 in Ellicott City.

In 2002, Lewis was convicted of federal bank robbery, and was sentenced to 150 months in prison on that charge.  As part of his guilty plea in 2002, Lewis admitted to robbing 19 banks over the course of three months in 2001, using a demand note.

United States Attorney Hur commended the FBI, the Baltimore County Police Department, the Howard County Police Department, and the Maryland State Police for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul Budlow and Paul Riley, who prosecuted this case.

Marcia Murphy (410) 209-4854
Updated September 13, 2018