COLORADO SPRINGS — The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announced that a Colorado Springs man was sentenced to 21 years in federal prison for multiple bank robberies.

“Bank robberies are crimes of violence that traumatize the victims, and we are dedicated to seeking justice for those victims,” said U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan.

In July 2020, Jared Lincoln Fitzgerald, 46, entered the MidFirst Bank located on North Cook Street in Denver wearing a face covering and a yellow hard hat in July 2020. Fitzgerald approached a bank employee and showed a note that read, “This is a robbery.” He then told three bank employees, “There is a problem. The problem is you’re being robbed.”

Fitzgerald proceeded to lift the front of his shirt to reveal what appeared to be a black handgun in his waistband. He ordered the employees to the vault and began yelling at them, according to the plea agreement. At one point, Fitzgerald began counting down and the employees feared they would be shot. Once the vault was opened, he took money, ordered the employees to stay inside the vault and exited the bank.

In October 2020, Fitzgerald entered the same MidFirst Bank. He approached the gate to the teller line with what appeared to be a gun in his hand. The same two bank employees who were present at the previous robbery were ordered to access the vault room once again. Fitzgerald forced all employees into the vault room warning that, “If the cops come, there will be a shootout.” He then ordered the bank employees to open the safe. Fitzgerald took cash and left the bank.

On April 13, 2021, Fitzgerald targeted the Power Credit Union located on East Evans Avenue in Pueblo. He asked to speak to the manager and displayed a robbery note threatening the employees. The bank employees were directed into the vault and ordered to open the safe. At one point, Fitzgerald told an employee he would take them hostage if the police came. once the safe was opened, he took cash and left the Credit Union.

On July 20, 2021, Fitzgerald entered the Wells Fargo Bank located on West 44th Avenue in Wheat Ridge. He was armed with a semi-automatic handgun that was kept in a holster on his hip, which was clearly visible to employees. Fitzgerald stated in a loud voice that he needed to speak with a manager about fraudulent checks while identifying himself as a law enforcement official. When the manager spoke with him, Fitzgerald displayed a note that read, “This is a robbery. I am armed with a gun.” He ordered the employees to the vault and ordered the manager to put money into a bag and left the bank.

Officers from the FBI Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force executed search warrants in Fitzgerald’s residence, storage locker and vehicles. They located items that matched the clothing worn and weapons used in the robberies.

Senior Judge Christine M. Arguello sentenced the defendant on August 10, 2022. She sentenced Fitzgerald to five years of supervised release.

“Jared Lincoln Fitzgerald committed four takeover-style robberies, all while he was under supervision for previous bank robberies,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider. “Fitzgerald clearly knew the consequences of his actions and still chose to break the law and terrorize his victims. This lengthy sentence is appropriate for this defendant; keeping him behind bars helps keep our communities safe.”

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime, gun violence and to make neighborhoods safer for all communities. In May 2021, the FBI launched a violent crime reduction strategy that aimed to strengthen PSN based on core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities and measuring the results.