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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of North Dakota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 18, 2016

Arizona Man Sentenced for the Robbery of Two North Dakota Banks

BISMARCK - U.S. Attorney Christopher C. Myers announced that on February 17, 2016, Gary Wayne Thomas, 59, of Arizona, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Daniel L. Hovland on two counts of Bank Robbery, to which Thomas pleaded guilty to on November 17, 2015. 

Judge Hovland sentenced Thomas to five years and eleven months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, on each count, to be served concurrently.  Thomas was further ordered to pay restitution to the banks for the money stolen and a $200 special assessment to the Crime Victims’ Fund.

On August 13, 2015, at approximately 10:12 a.m., Thomas entered BNC National Bank, 210 S. Main Street in Stanley, North Dakota, demanded money and then fled the bank with the money.  Later that same day, at approximately 3:08 p.m., Thomas entered Dacotah Bank, 1121 S. Broadway in Minot, North Dakota, and once again demanded money and fled the bank with the money. No weapon was used or threatened in either event and Thomas was not immediately identified or apprehended.

Police identified Thomas as a suspect based upon a description of the vehicle seen leaving the Dacotah Bank following the robbery as well as both banks’ surveillance videos which showed the clothing that the bank robber was wearing. Video was obtained from a convenience store/gas station in the area which showed the suspect vehicle and the man driving the vehicle entering the convenience store.  Based upon the individual’s clothing, the man was believed to be the man depicted in the bank videos.  Further investigation, including into the registered owner of the suspect vehicle, led to the identification of Thomas as the bank robber.  Thomas was located and arrested in early September 2015; none of the stolen money was recovered.

The case was investigated by the Minot Police Department, the Mountrail County Sheriff’s Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Hagler prosecuted the case.

Updated February 18, 2016