'Silent Bandit' Sentenced to Federal Prison

A 43-year-old Bethlehem man admitted to robbing six banks over a two-week period in April 2012, including the PNC Bank located inside the Warminster Shop Rite.

A man who went on a two-week bank robbing spree last year, which included the PNC Bank in the Shop Rite supermarket in Warminster, has been sentenced to almost six years in federal prison, the Express-Times reports.

Fawzi Atra, 43, from Bethlehem Township, told Judge James M. Munley that he performed the robberies because he needed the money to pay back unemployment compensation that had been overpaid to him by the state government, according to the Express-Times.

Atra admitted to six robberies between April 3 and April 19, 2012, totaling $9,688, an amount that the judge ordered Atra to pay back to the banks. The Express-Times reports that the institutions hit by Atra include:

  • $437 at KNBT in Giant in Bethlehem.
  • $1,780 at PNC in ShopRite in Marlton, N.J.
  • $2,967 at PNC in ShopRite in Warminster, Pa.
  • $1,262 at PNC in ShopRite in Hopewell Township, N.J.
  • $1,888 at QNB Bank in Giant in Richland Township, Pa.
  • $4,200 at ESSA Bank in Weis in Mount Pocono, Pa.

The FBI dubbed Atra the Silent Bandit by his quiet demeanor when he handed notes to the tellers, demanding the money.


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