Serial bank robber gets 16 years in prison

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- The man behind a series of bank robberies in three different cities will spend the next 16 years in a federal prison.

District Judge Neil V. Wake sentenced Walter David Garcia, 23, on Monday.

Garcia, who committed seven bank robberies in Phoenix, Sun City and Surprise between August 2011 and April 2012, pleaded guilty to four counts of bank robbery, two counts of armed bank robbery and one count of using a firearm during a violent crime. In two of the incidents, he committed carjackings in addition to the robberies.

According to a news released from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona, Garcia, a Mexican national, was dubbed the "Home Town Bandit" because he often wore hats or shirts from local sports teams while committing the robberies.

No injuries were reported in connection with any of the robberies.

A federal grand jury indicted Garcia on multiple counts last June.The 16-year sentence is the result of a plea agreement.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and its Bank Robbery Task Force, as well as the Surprise Police Department.

The Bank Robbery Task Force is a partnership of FBI, the Phoenix Police Department, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, the Mesa Police Department, the U.S. Attorney's Office, and the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, whose focus is to investigate and apprehend bank robbers in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

More information on the Bank Robbery Task Force can be found at www.bandittrackerarizona.com.