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Serial bank robber gets federal prison sentence

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A serial bank robber will spend up to another decade in prison on federal charges.

A judge today sentenced Jonathan Lee Thompson, 52, to ten years and five months in prison followed by three years supervised release. Thompson must also pay more than $8,000 in restitution. Thompson was on supervised release after serving time for nine bank robberies when he robbed three Wilmington banks in 2009.

Prosecutors say Thompson robbed the BB&T on Market Street in Wilmington on September 23, 2009. They say he approached a teller and placed a square black canvas bag on the counter. Taped to the bag was a white piece of paper that said, "You're being robbed. No dye packs." The teller took money from the teller drawer and gave it to Thompson. He asked for the money from a second drawer, but the drawer was empty. He then left the bank with $2,337.

On November 3, 2009, Thompson entered the Bank of America on Oleander Drive. He approached the teller and handed her a large white envelope. The envelope read, "This is an armed robbery. 100s, 50s, 20s, and 10s. Loose only." The teller filled the envelope with money and handed it back. Thompson made off with $4,070.

One week later Thompson robbed a Bank of America on South College Road. He approached a teller and placed a black canvas bag on the counter. Attached to the bag was a piece of masking tape with the following words: "This is a robbery. Give me 100s, 20s and 10s." Thompson got $1,710 in that robbery.

Prosecutors say through media coverage of police photos released to the public of these three robberies along with four additional robberies in South Carolina, Thompson was identified and arrested in Myrtle Beach on December 1, 2009.

In 2003, Thompson was prosecuted in federal court for nine bank robberies. He received a sentence of 84 months in prison,. Once he finished his term for those robberies, he was placed on supervised release for a period of three years, and was still on supervised release when he committed the latest string of robberies.

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