Colorado Springs man sentenced to over 21 years for bank robberies

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Published: Aug. 14, 2022 at 3:33 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announces that Jared Lincoln Fitzgerald, 46, of Colorado Springs, has been sentenced to 262 months in federal prison for four counts of bank robbery, including one with force. Fitzgerald had been previously arrested for past robberies and was on probation.

“Bank robberies are crimes of violence that traumatize the victims, and we are dedicated to seeking justice for those victims,” said U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan. “We are grateful for our partners at the FBI Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task force for their work and commitment to hold bank robbers accountable.”

According to the plea agreement, on the morning of July 24, 2020, the defendant entered the MidFirst Bank on North Cook Street in Denver wearing a face covering and yellow hard hat. He showed an employee a note that said, “This is a robbery.” The defendant then lifted his shirt revealing what appeared to be a black handgun in his waistband.

He yelled and demanded the employees take him to the vault. When the employees struggled to open the vault, the defendant began counting down, and employees stated that they feared that they would be shot. After employees opened the vault, he put $124,100 into a backpack and ordered the employees to stay inside the vault while he exited the bank.

On October 9, 2020, the defendant entered the same MidFirst Bank on North Cook Street in Denver. He approached the employees with what appeared to be a handgun in his hand. Two of the employees were also present during the first robbery. He demanded the bank employees take him to the vault room.

One of the employees asked what would happen if she didn’t comply, and the defendant pointed his gun at the other employee and stated that he would shoot her.

He told them, “If the cops come, there will be a shootout.” He told the employees to open the vault, put $223,136 in a duffel bag, then left the bank.

On April 13, 2021, the defendant entered the Power Credit Union on East Evans Avenue in Pueblo. He asked to speak to the manager and used the same tactic he had with the first robbery, using a hand written note to threaten employees.

The note read, “You are being robbed I see cops = you die to ensure your safety you must draw employees away from alarms no dye packs or tracking devices go to safe.”

The defendant told employees he would take them hostage if police showed up. The defendant forced employees to open the vault and sit inside as he took $56,280.

During this robbery, Fitzgerald accidentally left his notepad on the vault. This notepad contained the written note as well as information about the defendants workplace and Apple computer.

On July 20, 2021, the defendant entered the Wells Fargo Bank on West 44th Ave in Wheat Ridge. This time he didn’t hide his semi-automatic handgun that was holstered to his hip.

In a loud demeaner, he stated that he needed to speak with a manager about fraudulent checks. He claimed to be “Officer Morales” and presented himself as a law enforcement official.

When the manager on duty spoke with him, the defendant used the same familiar tactic and displayed a note that said, “This is a robbery. I am armed with a gun.” He ordered employees to go to the vault and commanded the manager to open it. Fitzgerald took $451,000 and then he left the bank.

Agents and task force officers from the FBI Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force executed warrants on the defendant’s home, vehicles, and storage locker. They found a variety of clothing, weapons, and ammunition that matched camera footage from previous robberies. They also found $372,395 in U.S. currency from three bags in the defendants car.

Senior Judge Christine M. Arguello sentenced the defendant on August 10, 2022, and also sentenced him to five years of supervised release after the 21 years served.

“Jared Lincoln Fitzgerald committed four takeover-style robberies, all while he was under supervision for previous bank robberies,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider.  “Fitzgerald clearly knew the consequences of his actions and still chose to break the law and terrorize his victims. This lengthy sentence is appropriate for this defendant; keeping him behind bars helps keep our communities safe.”

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