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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

Friday, September 27, 2013

Bank Robber Caught With Help Of Crime Stoppers Tip Sent To Prison

McALLEN, Texas – Palmview resident Erick Lee Chiu, 22, has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of robbing the International Bank of Commerce in McAllen, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Chiu entered a plea of guilty March 5, 2013.

Today, Chief United States District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa, who accepted the guilty plea, handed Chiu a sentence of 92 months and was ordered to pay restitution. At the hearing, the IBC Bank representative advised that the teller from whom Chiu demanded the money was so traumatized from the robbery that she had to leave her position with the bank. Chiu will be required to serve a term of three years of supervised release following completion of the prison term.

On Sept. 16, 2012, Chiu, trying to conceal his identity, walked into the International Bank of Commerce wearing a wig and handed the teller a note demanding money. The note threatened that he had a gun, but that no one would be hurt as long as they did not call the police. Bank tellers handed Chiu the money and he fled the bank before law enforcement arrived.

Through a McAllen Crime Stoppers Tip the following day, police were able to identify Chiu as the bank robber. He was subsequently arrested and the money was recovered.

He has been in custody since Nov. 17, 2012, and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The FBI investigated the case along with the McAllen Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen J. Rees is prosecuting the case.

Updated April 30, 2015