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Rochester robber who hit bank twice gets 5 years

Jason Cato
| Friday, April 10, 2009

If at first a robber does not succeed, sometimes he will try, try again.

A Beaver County man received a five-year federal prison sentence Thursday for robbing a Rochester bank in July and then trying to rob it again three days later. The holdups came nearly eight weeks after he was released from prison after serving time for a 2004 bank robbery.

Senior U.S. District Judge Alan N. Bloch ordered Brian R. Middour, 29, of Rochester to repay $1,375 he stole from the Citizens Bank at the local Giant Eagle on July 25. Prosecutors said Middour unsuccessfully attempted to rob the bank again July 28. Rochester police and FBI agents arrested Middour July 30. He has been in custody since.

Middour pleaded guilty in December to one count each of bank robbery and attempted bank robbery.

"I don't want to make excuses for myself," said Middour, who apologized in court to a teller and his mother.

Middour was released from prison in June after serving time for robbing a Citizens Bank branch located in the Chippewa Giant Eagle.

Public defender Penn Hackney asked Bloch to be lenient. Middour faced between 57 and 71 months, according to federal sentencing guidelines.

"Mr. Middour's conduct was not violent. It was more sad than anything else," Hackney said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Brady agreed Middour's actions seemed more sad than violent, but he said a teller from the first robbery required three weeks of counseling, and Brady reminded the judge of Middour's chronic pattern of robbing banks.

"This isn't someone who screwed up a few years down the road," Brady said. "This was within a few weeks of being placed on supervised release."

Middour robbed the Chippewa branch in October 2004 and made off with $900, but a dye pack exploded before he left the shopping center parking lot, court records state. U.S. District Judge Terrence McVerry sentenced Middour to 41 months imprisonment and three years' supervised release.

McVerry is expected to sentence Middour to additional time because the Rochester robberies occurred while he was on supervised release. No hearing has been scheduled.

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