CAMDEN - The thief from Virginia who held up banks in Atlantic City and Ocean City last December, as well as two banks and a business in Maryland, heads to prison for seven years and three months.

Prison cell block

Bruce Wayne Higgins, 43, of Herndon, was sentenced for his guilty plea to four federal charges, according to the office of Acting New Jersey U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick. He is also ordered to serve three years of parole supervision and pay $23,390 restitution.

Higgins's description had been issued by the FBI in Baltimore, pursuing the robberies earlier in the week during which he strode into a TD Bank branch in Ocean City, December 15, 2016.

Investigators said that the note he handed to a teller read, "GUN IN Pocket, MONEY NOW or -BANG-". After he ran from the bank with cash, a bank surveillance photograph circulated by police resulted in his identification.

On December 16, a man matching Higgins's description entered a TD branch in Atlantic City, where a bank employee recognized him from the police description and triggered the bank's alarm. Higgins hopped a cab. Witnesses gave police the cab's number and direction, and it was found near a Wells Fargo branch, authorities said.

Inside the branch, Higgins allegedly confronted a teller with a note that read, "Gun in Pocket, Money Now or Bang now." Atlantic City police arrested him as he started his escape.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Diana Vondra Carrig conducted the government's case. Higgins was represented by Camden-based Assistant Federal Public Defender Maggie F. Moy.

Source: New Jersey U.S. Attorney's Office

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