Northeast Tarrant

He robbed a bank after being told his storage rent was overdue; he gets prison time

Ronald Lynn Thomas of Haltom City was sentenced Monday for robbing a Richland Hills bank in August 2018.
Ronald Lynn Thomas of Haltom City was sentenced Monday for robbing a Richland Hills bank in August 2018.

A Haltom City man accused of robbing a bank in a Hawaiian shirt after being told his storage rent was overdue was sentenced Monday to five years in federal prison.

Ronald Lynn Thomas, 59, declined to comment on his behalf before U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor sentenced him.

He also was ordered to pay $9,250 in restitution, the same amount of cash taken in the August 2018 bank robbery in Richland Hills.

Thomas has been in custody since his arrest in August 2018, and he pleaded guilty to the federal charge of bank robbery in November 2018.

In August 2018, the Haltom City man was in arrears on a rented storage unit at the U-Haul on Flory Street, so officials there put a padlock on it, according to authorities.

On Aug. 20, 2018, Thomas told the storage management people he would return the next day to pay the back rent.

He robbed the Wells Fargo Bank of $9,250 on Aug. 21, 2018, according to federal court documents

A federal criminal complaint says Thomas, who was wearing a Hawaiian shirt, handed a teller at the Wells Fargo Bank at 6964 Boulevard 26 a note about 12:30 p.m. that day saying, “Give me all the money or it’s going to get ugly.” He demanded large bills.

A teller handed him $9,250 and he fled on a lime bicycle.

A few minutes later, two witnesses observed the suspect running into a nearby neighborhood.

Police canvassed the neighborhood with photographs of the suspect taken by bank surveillance cameras. Two residents recognized the robber as a man who they believed was living at a nearby U-Haul storage unit on Flory Street.

As they searched for him, Thomas went to the U-Haul business, rented a truck for $250 and promised to return later to pay his rent and get his property.

When police arrived at U-Haul, police showed a photograph of the suspect to a manager who said it was one of his customers, Ronald Lynn Thomas.

Officers stopped Thomas in the rented truck about 5 p.m. Tuesday. Authorities found a roll of $100 bills in his pocket and recovered $7,916 in cash from a bag found in the truck.

Thomas admitted renting a truck, but he did not make a statement about the bank robbery, according to court documents.

Police responded shortly after 9am to a report of a robbery with shots fired at Veritex Bank on Merrick Street near Camp Bowie Blvd. Three women were shot during the holdup. Witnesses reported seeing two suspects in hoodies fleeing on foot.

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