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Willowbrook man sentenced to five years in jail for robbing three banks

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CBS News Los Angeles Live

A judge sentenced a Willowbrook man to five years in federal prison for a string of bank robberies in 2019. 

At the time of the heists, 54-year-old Rickey Lewis was on supervised release after pleading guilty to another string of bank robberies in 2006.

According to the United States Department of Justice, from Jan. 22 to Jan. 28, 2019, Lewis held up three banks in Gardena and Long Beach. He also tried to rob another bank in Downey. 

Prosecutors claimed that he threatened to shoot the tellers if they did not hand over the cash. It did not appear that Lewis actually had a firearm at the time of the robberies but did have "clear tape around his fingers," according to prosecutors. Nonetheless, fearing for their lives, the tellers obeyed Lewis' commands and handed over the money. 

In total, Lewis made off with $4,035. 

The FBI, working in conjunction with local law enforcement, tracked him down thanks to a partial palm print he left at the Long Beach bank. 

He pled guilty to three counts of bank robbery and one count of attempted robbery. 

In addition to his five-year jail sentence, Lewis was ordered to pay back the $4,035 he stole. 

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