SACRAMENTO – A man who made it easy for law enforcement officials to identify him pleaded guilty to two counts of bank robbery Tuesday in a Sacramento courtroom, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner said.
Troy Foster Mitchell, 47, of Modesto admitted to robbing two banks, one in Stockton and another in Modesto, authorities said. He is scheduled for sentencing Jan. 7 and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release on each count.
According to court documents, on May 14, while on supervised release after serving a prison term for a previous conviction, Mitchell entered the Valley First Credit Union in Modesto and passed a note to a bank teller demanding $5,000 in cash. While the teller was complying with Mitchell’s demand, another teller who recognized Mitchell walked by and said, “Hi, Troy.” Mitchell acknowledged the second teller and left the bank with $5,000 in cash.
Authorities said Mitchell had filed an auto loan application with the bank on April 3. The application included a copy of his driver’s license. Immediately after the robbery, a bank employee retrieved the application and gave it to the Modesto Police Department, which matched surveillance photos of the robber to the picture on Mitchell’s driver’s license.
On May 31, Mitchell entered a Bank of the West branch in Stockton and passed a teller a note demanding $100 bills. The teller gave Mitchell more than $5,100 in cash. Mitchell then left the bank, leaving behind the note, which was written on the back of a voided paycheck made out to Troy F. Mitchell. The paycheck listed Mitchell’s home address.
“It seemed like he was not that concerned about getting caught,” said Lauren Horwood, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “It does make one wonder what was in his mind. Most people make more of an effort to hide, wear a mask or have a getaway vehicle, but he had nothing. It is very unusual.”
Mitchell was arrested following an investigation involving the FBI, the Stockton Police Department and the Modesto Police Department, Horwood said.
“It’s pretty obvious that this bank robber assisted our investigation by leaving his personal information on the back of the demand note that he gave to the teller,” said Officer Joe Silva, a spokesman for the Stockton Police Department. “This just indicates that some of these suspects are not very good, because they are usually desperate or have some type of an addiction. Most bank robbers like to spend their money quickly and have to resort to this type of crime again, which increases their odds of getting caught.”
- Newly released ex-con accused of robbing same bank, same teller as 3 years ago (q13fox.com)
- Accused bank robber asks for bond, says weapon was “only” a BB gun (macombdaily.com)