Palm Tree Bandits ringleader who robbed Stevenson Ranch bank sentenced

A deputy with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station responds to the California Bank & Trust Wednesday following a bank robbery. Photo by Katharine Lotze, The Signal. A deputy with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station responds to the California Bank & Trust Sept. 14, 2016, following a bank robbery. Photo by Katharine Lotze, The Signal.
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The man who led the “Palm Tree Bandits” armed robbery crew that held up a Stevenson Ranch bank in 2016 — and other bank branches in Los Angeles and Kern counties, netting more than $85,000 in stolen money — was sentenced to 387 months in federal prison.

Gary Lamar Henry, a.k.a. “G-Thing,” 38, was given the 32-year, 4-month term on Monday by United States District Judge Robert H. Whaley.

After a six-day trial in May 2018, Henry was found guilty of his role in bank robberies that occurred in Brentwood, Santa Monica, San Marino, Arcadia, South El Monte, Bakersfield, Stevenson Ranch and Hacienda Heights.

On Sept. 14, 2016, sheriff’s deputies began looking for two armed bank robbers who held up a bank at gunpoint in Stevenson Ranch.

About a minute before noon, two men armed with firearms walked into the California Bank & Trust on The Old Road, near Pico Canyon Road, and demanded money, Sgt. Dan Peacock told The Signal in 2016. That robbery is believed to have netted about $8,700, according to initial reports from first responders.

On Monday, a jury found Henry guilty of 11 felonies: one count of conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery; seven counts of bank robbery; and three counts of using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, Ciaran McEvoy, spokesman for the US Attorney, wrote in a news release issued Monday.

Between April 14-Oct. 7, 2016, Henry contacted his co-conspirators, organized the crews, planned the robberies, and gave his co-conspirators the guns for the robberies, according to the evidence presented at trial.

Henry watched outside the bank branches while he sent his armed co-conspirators inside to rob them.

On some occasions, the co-conspirators pointed the firearms at bank employees and customers.

Though no bank employees or customers suffered physical injuries during the robberies, Henry’s actions placed innocent lives in danger and inflicted considerable emotional trauma on the dozens of victims present during the robberies, according to court documents, McEvoy wrote in his news release.

In total, the robberies netted Henry and his co-conspirators $85,354, according to the government’s sentencing memorandum.

All of Henry’s co-defendants in the case already have been sentenced, with three of them receiving prison terms in excess of 12 years.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey M. Chemerinsky and Joseph D. Axelrad of the Violent and Organized Crime Section.

[email protected]

661-287-5527

On Twitter @jamesarthurholt

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