Sentencing for 'Blond Bandit' in Bank Robberies | NBC4 Washington

Sentencing for 'Blond Bandit' in Bank Robberies

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    Stephanie Schwab being placed in a police cruiser after her arrest.

    A northern Virginia woman who became known as the "blond bandit" following a string of bank robberies and carjackings last year was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

    Stephanie Schwab of Manassas pleaded guilty earlier this year to stealing $3,200 in a pair of November bank robberies, plus another attempted robbery. She also admitted stealing a car from relatives and carjacking two others.

    Schwab was arrested Nov. 30 in Montgomery County, Md., after leading police on a chase following an attempted robbery in McLean, Va.

    "Stephanie’s Schwab’s reckless crime spree was a risk to the public in many different communities," U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride said. "Her complete disregard for the law and public safety justifies the lengthy sentence."

    Schwab had been a member of the MS-13 street gang and for a period of time was in the Witness Protection Program after testifying at a high-profile murder trial.

    Prosecutors sought a term of at least 10 years, which is in line with federal sentencing guidelines.

    Court papers indicate Schwab blamed her crime spree on a heroin addiction.

    She also admitted participating in a heroin-trafficking ring that purchased heroin in New York and the D.C. area and distributed it to people in Manassas from 2009 through 2011.

    In addition to her prison sentence, Schwab was ordered to pay $24,000 in restitution and will have four years of supervised release.