Published On: Thu, Jun 27th, 2019

‘Happy Holidays’ Bank Robber, Brent Richards Pleads Guilty in Armed Heist

A former resident of Crafton, PA, pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to a charge of armed bank robbery, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Brent Richards, age 33, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Peter J. Phipps to Count One of the three-count Indictment, which also charges his mother, Melissa Kane, at Count Three.

Photo/Thomas Breher

In connection with the guilty plea, the Court was advised that on January 8, 2018, at approximately 9:18 a.m., Richards, dressed in all black, entered the Citizens Bank located at 31 Foster Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15205, carrying a black umbrella and, what appeared to be, a black and silver semi-automatic style handgun, which was later determined to be a bb-gun. The Court was further informed that Richards pointed the bb-gun at two of the tellers, placed a white bag on the counter and demanded that the tellers empty their drawers of cash. Richards took $10,003 from the bank and, when exiting the bank, stated: “Sorry, Happy Holidays.”

Judge Phipps scheduled sentencing for October 16, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 25 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant. Richards remains in custody pending sentencing.

Assistant United States Attorneys Rebecca L. Silinski and Timothy M. Lanni are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Crafton Borough Police Department, the Allegheny County Sherriff’s Office, and the West Mifflin Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of this case.

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