Grants Pass Bank Robber Sentenced to 100 Months in Prison
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 07, 2009|
MEDFORD, OR—David Allen Whiting, 44, of Grants Pass, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Owen M. Panner to 100 months in federal prison for bank robbery. Whiting must also pay $1,849 in restitution.
On February 19, 2009, Whiting entered the Umpqua Bank located on Williams Highway in Grants Pass, Oregon and said he wanted to open a new account. Whiting was taken into a small office where he presented a robbery note to the teller. When the teller asked whether Whiting was serious, Whiting gripped his backpack and said, “Yes I am.” Whiting took over $1,800 in currency and fled the bank.
Grants Pass police immediately distributed surveillance photos of the suspect to other banks as a safety precaution. An employee at a neighboring bank recognized the suspect as Whiting who was one of their customers. Josephine County Probation officers also confirmed Whiting’s identity from the bank surveillance photos. The next afternoon, after extensive investigation, Grants Pass police detectives located Whiting in Merlin and arrested him. Whiting confessed to committing the robbery and said he used the stolen money to buy methamphetamine and to pay drug debts. Whiting also said he planned to rob more banks had he not been caught. Whiting admitted that he had gripped a hatchet in his backpack during the robbery to make the teller think he had a gun. Officers recovered the hatchet, the bank robbery note, and approximately $700 of the stolen money.
Whiting is a career offender with 23 prior felony convictions, which include manufacture, delivery, and possession of methamphetamine; burglary I; burglary II; escape II; attempted assault II; forgery I; theft I; unauthorized use of a vehicle; and identity theft.
The case was investigated jointly by the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas W. Fong.