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Former High School Star Athlete Sentenced to Prison for Armored Car Robbery Defendant Used Ad on Craigslist and Flotation Device to Make Escape Following Monroe Robbery

U.S. Attorney’s Office July 27, 2009
  • Western District of Washington (206) 553-7970

ANTHONY CURCIO, 28, of Monroe, Washington was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 72 months in prison and three years of supervised release for robbing an armored car in Monroe, Washington, on September 30, 2008. CURCIO, a former star athlete in high school, who earned college scholarships in basketball and football, meticulously planned the robbery over nearly a year. CURCIO then went on a wild spending spree following the robbery and was arrested in a new Range Rover following a shopping spree at an outlet mall. At sentencing U.S. District Judge James L. Robart told him what happened to the victim was “tragic.” Judge Robart described the crime as fitting of the type of things seen in the movies similar to the Thomas Crown Affair. However, Judge Robart stated there was nothing “dashing” about this crime. Judge Robart stated he was troubled by the immediate violence. He was equally troubled with CURCIO’S novel idea of using Craigslist to have others show up dressed like himself, similar to the Thomas Crown Affair. This, however, put those people at risk of being shot by the guards. Judge Robart also rejected CURCIO’s excuse for doing the robbery because of his need for money, citing CURCIO’s trip, where he treated a number of his friends to Las Vegas for an all expense paid vacation.

According to records filed in the case, CURCIO first hatched the idea of robbing an armored car while working for his parent’s landscaping company at the Nakamura Courthouse in downtown Seattle. As his money troubles worsened, CURCIO, targeted an armored car making deliveries to the Bank of America branch in Monroe, Washington. CURCIO studied the deliveries and the best ways to escape following the robbery. He manufactured a disguise with clothing that could be easily removed, and even strung a cable in a nearby creek so that he could use an inflatable raft and pull himself down the creek away from the scene of the robbery. CURCIO put an ad on Craigslist offering a potential job for people showing up in the vicinity of the bank dressed as he planned to be dressed at the time of the robbery. The idea was to have a number of similarly dressed people in the area of the bank at the time of the robbery.

On the day of the robbery, CURCIO wore a wig, face mask and the tear away clothing as he pretended to be a landscaper spraying weeds outside the bank. When the armored car arrived he sprayed the delivery person in the face with mace and stole a bag of money with some $400,000. CURCIO discarded his wig, face mask and hat and made his escape on an inflatable raft. Following the robbery CURCIO took his buddies and girlfriend on an expensive trip to Las Vegas and purchased numerous luxury items.

Even as CURCIO spent the stolen money, the FBI and Monroe Police were on his trail. A homeless man had seen CURCIO at one of his “dry runs,” picking up a wig and mask and other items from near a dumpster at the bank a couple of week before the robbery. The man reported CURCIO’s license plate number to police. The car was registered to CURCIO’s wife. Authorities then retrieved a drink bottle with a sample of DNA and compared it to the DNA from the face mask and wig discarded a short distance from the scene of the robbery. The DNA from the bottle matched the DNA from the items left at the scene.

Some $220,000 of the stolen money was recovered following CURCIO’s arrest on November 25, 2008. CURCIO was originally released following his arrest, but was returned to custody in January 2009, after he contacted one of the witnesses in the case, in violation of the terms of his release. CURCIO pleaded guilty on May 5, 2009.

In asking for a five year sentence, Assistant United States Attorney Bruce Miyake noted that danger involved in any robbery. “All robberies are inherently violent and serious. This robbery stands out for its boldness, level of planning, and its ingenuity. As detailed above, Curcio was obsessive in his planning. He was very meticulous in thinking of almost all the details. He spent hours watching the bank to determine the schedule of the armored car. He also spent hours setting up his escape route which included stringing up a cable to assist in his escape,” Mr. Miyake wrote in his sentencing memo.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Monroe Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Bruce Miyake.

For additional information please contact Mr. Miyake at (206) 553-7970.

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