You are here

Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Trail, Oregon Couple Sentenced to Federal Prison for Serial Bank Robbery

EUGENE, Ore.—An Oregon couple was sentenced today to federal prison for robbing six banks in four Southern Oregon counties over a two month period.

John Steven Shepard, 38, of Trail, Oregon, was sentenced to 51 months in prison and three years’ supervised release. Kimberly Ann Blank, 39, also of Trail, was sentenced to 33 months in prison and three years’ supervised release.

According to court documents, on January 27, 2017, Shepard robbed the Evergreen Bank in Rogue River, Oregon. He fled with $1,950 in a vehicle driven by Blank. During the robbery, Shepard wore a cowboy hat and a jacket, the first of many disguises.

Five days later, Shepard robbed the Key Bank in Grants Pass, Oregon wearing a wig, glasses and a hat. He left the bank with $10,145 as a security dye pack hidden in the money spewed a cloud of red smoke. A witness said it looked like a road flare had gone off in Shepard’s pocket. Again, he fled in a vehicle driven by Blank.

Between February 7 and March 30, 2017, Shepard, wearing various disguises, robbed four additional banks with Blank’s assistance: Banner Banks in Riddle and Cottage Grove Oregon, a Bank of the Cascades in Medford, Oregon, and an Umpqua Bank in Ashland, Oregon.

After their final robbery, police located Blank in a vehicle matching the description of the getaway vehicle used in previous robberies. Shepard was located nearby in a second vehicle. Both were released while police obtained search warrants for Blank’s car and the couple’s residence in Trail. On April 4, 2017, Shepard and Blank were arrested in Fortuna, California.  

During sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge Ann L. Aiken ordered Shepard and Blank each to pay $31,045 in restitution. On April 17, 2019, Shepard and Blank each pleaded guilty to multiple counts of bank robbery.

This case was investigated by the FBI working together with the City of Medford, Grants Pass, Cottage Grove, Ashland and Rogue River Police Departments and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Jeffrey Sweet, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, working together with the Josephine and Jackson County District Attorney’s Offices.

Component(s): 
Updated July 31, 2019