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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Washington

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Felon who Recruited and Trained Juveniles for Bank Robberies Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison

Co-Leader of Group Dubbed the “Buddy Bandits” Responsible for Eight Robberies in April 2014

A 31-year-old King County man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to seven years in prison for his involvement in eight bank robberies in Western Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes.  VINCENT G. THOMPSON, recruited juveniles who he and a partner trained to commit bank robberies.  In addition, THOMPSON and his partner, Robert Cal Adams, robbed Chase Bank on Canyon Road East in Puyallup on April 14, 2014.  At sentencing U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour said the sentence was appropriate because THOMPSON involved juveniles in the crimes.  Judge Coughenour ordered THOMPSON to serve three years of supervised release following the prison sentence.

On January 26, 2015, THOMPSON pleaded guilty to two counts of bank robbery.  THOMPSON’s co-defendant, Robert Adams was previously sentenced to 120 months for his involvement in a string of bank robberies where three juveniles were provided with threatening notes and instruction on how to execute the bank robberies.  Those robberies include the April 1, 2014 robbery of Chase Bank on Pacific Avenue in Tacoma; the April 7, 2014 robbery of US Bank on 176th St., Puyallup, Washington; the April 9, 2014 robberies of Alaska Federal Credit Union branches in Renton and Kent, Washington; the April 9, 2014 robbery of US Bank on Pacific Highway in Des Moines, Washington; the April 10, 2014 robbery of Wells Fargo on 72nd Street East, Tacoma; the April 11, 2014 robbery of BECU on Pacific Highway South, Kent, and the April 11, 2014 robbery of Bank of America on SW 336th St., Federal Way, Washington.

In asking for the seven year sentence prosecutors wrote to the court, “Thompson’s choice to assist in sending juveniles to rob banks presents an extraordinary risk to the community, bank tellers, security guards, law enforcement and – most significantly – the juveniles themselves.  This was quite literally a tragedy waiting to happen…. for an adult to encourage juveniles to engage in serious criminal actions – simply because the adult wanted to be ‘paid’ without working – is deserving of a significant period of incarceration.”  

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Seattle Safe Streets Task Force, with assistance from multiple local police departments and the Washington State Department of Corrections.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Hobbs.  Mr. Hobbs is a Senior Deputy King County prosecutor specially designated to prosecute cases in federal court.

Violent Crime
Updated June 9, 2015