By Pradeep Saran, September 19, 2023
A Willowbrook resident has received a federal prison sentence of five years for a series of bank robberies that occurred in 2019. Rickey Lewis, aged 54 at the time of sentencing, found himself in legal trouble while already on supervised release following his guilty plea for a previous set of bank robberies dating back to 2006.
According to the United States Department of Justice, Lewis committed his crimes between January 22 and January 28, 2019, targeting three banks in Gardena and Long Beach, while also attempting to rob another bank in Downey. During these heists, Lewis allegedly threatened bank tellers, demanding cash under the threat of violence. Prosecutors noted that while Lewis did not appear to possess a firearm during the robberies, he did have “clear tape around his fingers.” Despite the absence of an actual weapon, the tellers, understandably fearing for their lives, complied with Lewis’ demands and handed over the money.
In total, Lewis managed to abscond with $4,035 in stolen funds. Law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and local police, collaborated to track him down. They were able to identify him through a partial palm print he left behind at the Long Beach bank.
In response to the charges brought against him, Lewis pleaded guilty to three counts of bank robbery and one count of attempted robbery. As part of his sentencing, in addition to the five-year jail term, Lewis was also ordered to reimburse the $4,035 he had stolen.