| News |

Serial Bank Robber Sentenced to Life in Prison. Judge Says He's the "Poster Child" For Three Strikes Law

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

At a sentencing hearing this morning, a federal judge in Phoenix told a convicted serial bank robber that he "is a poster child of why Congress enacted" the Three Strikes law. Then he sentenced him to life in prison plus seven years.

Stephen Ross Raboy, 60, of Phoenix, was convicted of three counts of armed bank robbery and one count of use of a firearm during a crime of violence in September. And U.S. District Judge James Teilborg threw the book at at him -- thanks to the Three Strikes Law, which mandates those convicted of three felonies be sentenced to life in prison.

"Some people never learn, which is why the Three Strikes law is in place. Now, this serial bank robber will get to spend the rest of his life in prison paying for his failed lessons," U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke says in a statement.

Raboy robbed three Valley banks between February of 2009 and April of 2009. In each case, Raboy threatened the teller by saying he had a bomb, which forced police to evacuate the buildings. In each case, the "bomb" turned out to be fake.

In his most recent robbery, Raboy used a gun, too.

Raboy's also got himself a bit of a history -- since 1979, he's been convicted of several violent felonies, the Department of Justice says, and these robberies are just the latest in a series of crimes by a career criminal.

The additional seven years weren't just tacked on to add a little insult to injury. Because he used a gun in one of the robberies, sentencing guidelines make it mandatory that he be sentenced to the additional time. 

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.