Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Armed Bank Robber Sentenced to Prison for over 25 Years

DONNIE ATKINS, 58, of Atlanta , Georgia , was sentenced November 7, 2008, by United States District Judge Marvin H. Shoob to over 25 years in federal prison on a charge of armed bank robbery.

“This defendant terrorized bank tellers and employees whose only mistake was to show up at the bank to do an honest day’s work,” said United States Attorney David E. Nahmias. “Then he brazenly and recklessly shot at Atlanta Police officers who arrived at the scene to stop the robbery. Fortunately, no officer or bank employee suffered any physical injuries. The sentence imposed on this defendant shows the harsh consequences for anyone who would dare to rob a bank at gunpoint, including significant time in federal prison.”

ATKINS was sentenced to 25 years, 8 months in prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release. ATKINS pleaded guilty to the charge on August 22, 2008.

According to United States Attorney Nahmias and the information presented in court: On December 13, 2007 , at approximately 9:10 a.m. , ATKINS and an unidentified accomplice robbed the Capitol City Bank at gunpoint, located at 2358 Cascade Road , Atlanta. Employees of the bank noticed the two men as they approached the bank, and thought that the men looked suspicious because they were wearing sweatshirts with hoods covering their heads and faces. An armed security guard attempted to block their entry into the back door of the bank, but the men overpowered him, forced him to the ground, removed his weapon, and handcuffed him. The accomplice stayed with the guard during the robbery, keeping a gun pointed at the guard’s head. ATKINS forced at gunpoint bank employees who were hiding in a break room to come into the lobby and to lie on the floor. One of the employees was on the phone with an emergency dispatch operator when ATKINS came into the break room. ATKINS took more than $15,000 from the teller drawers. ATKINS demanded access to the vault, but the tellers told him that they did not have the keys to the vault. ATKINS began kicking the iron gate to the vault to gain access when his accomplice alerted ATKINS that two police cars had pulled up to the bank. ATKINS and his accomplice ran out of the bank and separated. Atlanta Police Department officers chased ATKINS, and he turned around and fired several shots at them. ATKINS continued to run and, as he attempted to shoot at the pursuing police officers again, he shot himself in the shoulder. At that point, ATKINS was taken into custody. ATKINS had all of the robbery money in a bag that he was carrying. Moreover, ATKINS also had on him a gun that was taken from the armed security guard at a robbery of the same bank on June 22, 2007.

ATKINS’ accomplice has not yet been located, and the FBI’s investigation and search continues. Anyone with information about the accomplice is asked to call the FBI at 404-679-9000.

This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney Paul R. Jones prosecuted the case.

For further information please contact David E. Nahmias (pronounced NAH-me-us), United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney's Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.usdoj.gov/usao/gan.

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