Phoenix man gets life in prison for bank robberies

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX -- A Phoenix man was sentenced to life in prison after he was found guilty of robbing three Valley banks.

On Sept. 17, a federal jury found Stephen Ross Raboy, 60, guilty on three counts of armed bank robbery and one count of use of a firearm.

Evidence showed Raboy robbed three Phoenix-area banks between Feb. 12 and April 3, 2009. In each case, Raboy threatened tellers with a bomb, which forced the banks to be evacuated. The Phoenix Police Department Bomb Squad was called to assist and the bombs were determined to be simulated explosive devices.

Raboy had two previous convictions for violent felonies and was subject to the federal Three Strikes law, which mandates a life prison sentence.

Judge James A. Teilborg said Raboy "is a poster child of why Congress enacted" the Three Strikes law. Because the firearm charge requires a mandatory consecutive sentence, Teilborg sentenced Raboy to life in prison for the bank robberies plus an additional seven years for brandishing a firearm during the last robbery.

"Some people never learn, which is why the Three Strikes law is in place," said U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke. "Now, this serial bank robber will get to spend the rest of his life in prison paying for his failed lessons."