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Serial Bank Robber Gets Life in Prison After Third Strike
Judge: Defendant is “Poster Child” of Why Three Strikes Law Was Passed

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 03, 2010
  • District of Arizona (602) 514-7500

PHOENIX—Stephen Ross Raboy, 60, of Phoenix, was sentenced here by U.S. District Judge James A. Teilborg to life in prison with an additional seven years. Raboy was found guilty by a federal jury on September 17, 2010, of three counts of armed bank robbery and one count of use of a firearm during a crime of violence.

The evidence at trial showed that Raboy robbed three Valley banks between February 12, 2009 and April 3, 2009. In each robbery, Raboy threatened the tellers with a bomb, which required the bank to be evacuated and the Phoenix Police Department Bomb Squad to be called. In each robbery, the bomb was determined to be a simulated explosive device. Raboy also used a firearm in the most recent robbery.

“Some people never learn, which is why the Three Strikes law is in place. Now, this serial bank robber will get to spend the rest of his life in prison paying for his failed lessons,” said U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke. “I want to commend the excellent work of the FBI’s Bank Robbery Task Force, which includes the Phoenix Police Department and the Scottsdale Police Department. Also, I want to commend my prosecutors for their tireless effort in bringing the defendant to justice.”

Raboy has a history of serious violent felonies dating back to 1979. His convictions for the 2009 robberies triggered the federal Three Strikes law, mandating a term of life imprisonment. Judge Teilborg, in finding that a sentence of life was reasonable, said Raboy “is a poster child of why Congress enacted” the Three Strikes law. Because the firearm charge requires a mandatory consecutive sentence, Judge Teilborg sentenced Raboy to life in prison for the bank robberies, plus an additional seven years for brandishing a firearm during the last robbery.

The investigation leading to the guilty verdict was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Phoenix Police Department, and the Scottsdale Police Department. The prosecution was handled by Alison S. Bachus and Sharon K. Sexton, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.

RELEASE NUMBER: 2010-260(Raboy)

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