EUGENE, Ore. — A man who pleaded guilty to a string of Oregon bank robberies in the late summer of 2017 has been sentenced to more than nine years in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Oregon.
In as many weeks, 67-year-old Dannie Kay Alston robbed four banks — beginning on August 7, 2017 at Chase Bank in Vancouver, Washington. Alston then moved on to Oregon, where he robbed Wells Fargo in Medford on August 15, Wells Fargo in Salem on August 24, and First Interstate Bank in Roseburg on September 9.
"In each of his robberies, Alston attempted to disguise his identity by wearing sunglasses and some type of ball or ski cap. He communicated with the targeted bank tellers primarily through handwritten notes or signs," the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Alston had his biggest score in Medford, taking $4,690. Through the course of all four robberies, Alston stole $11,748.
At the final robbery in Roseburg, witnesses glimpsed Alston's getaway car and reported the details to Oregon State Police. Troopers caught the man in short order, finding a note used in the robbery, a starter's pistol loaded with caps, a Taser, sunglasses, a wig, and the $3,441 in cash taken from the bank.
"Alston is a career offender with a criminal history spanning five decades and four states," the U.S. Attorney's Office said. "He has previous burglary convictions in California and Texas, robbery convictions in California, Florida and Oregon, as well as assault, theft and narcotics convictions."
Alston pleaded guilty in February to all four robberies. On Tuesday, a federal judge sentenced Alston to 110 months in federal prison and three years' probation. The judge also ordered Alston to pay $11,748 in restitution — the exact amount of his thefts.