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Press Release

Repeat bank robber sentenced to federal prison for Waycross heist

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Georgia
Former Brooklyn, N.Y., resident pled guilty to Ware County robbery

WAYCROSS, GA:  A former Brooklyn, N.Y., man with prior bank robbery convictions has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for robbing a Waycross bank.

Matthew McCloskey, 34, of Waycross, was sentenced to 168 months in prison after pleading guilty to Bank Robbery, said Jill E. Steinberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. U.S. District Court Judge R. Stan Baker ordered that McCloskey’s sentence run concurrently with his state sentence on a kidnapping conviction related to the bank robbery, ordered him to pay $877 in restitution, and to serve three years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

“Robbing a bank doesn’t just take money from a faceless institution; it terrorizes employees forced to comply with a robber’s frightening demands,” said U.S. Attorney Steinberg. “Matthew McCloskey is being held accountable for his criminal behavior.”

As described in court documents and testimony, McCloskey entered the Ameris Bank in Waycross on Sept. 9, 2022, and handed a note to the teller demanding money. After receiving cash, he ran to a waiting vehicle and fled the scene.

Waycross Police Department investigators located the getaway vehicle, and its owner admitted giving McCloskey a ride to the bank. Investigators learned that McCloskey and his girlfriend took a taxi to a local motel and used cash from the robbery to pay for the taxi. Officers took McCloskey into custody at the motel after a struggle that resulted in the kidnapping conviction on state charges when McCloskey refused to allow his girlfriend to leave their room.

McCloskey has two prior felony convictions for bank robbery in New York in 2013 and 2016.

“I sincerely appreciate the commendable efforts of  Waycross Police Department officers, the FBI, and the U.S. Attorney's Office,” said Waycross Police Chief Tommy A. Cox Jr. “Our teamwork was paramount in bringing peace and closure to the victims of the crime.” 

“By now, Matthew McCloskey should realize robbing a bank is not a winning proposition,” said Savannah Senior Supervisory Resident Agent Will Clarke of FBI Atlanta. “Those who choose to become involved in such a lifestyle should know that law enforcement at every level will work together tirelessly to bring them to justice.”

The case was investigated by the Waycross Police Department and FBI, and prosecuted for the United States by Southern District of Georgia Assistant U.S. Attorney L. Alexander Hamner.


Barry L. Paschal, Public Affairs Officer: 912-652-4422

Updated May 2, 2024

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 25-24