Philadelphia man who recruited sons to help with 2017 bank robbery pleads guilty, prosecutors say

FILE - Generic gavel on wooden table.

A Philadelphia man who prosecutors say convinced his two sons to help with a failed bank robbery in Bucks County over three years ago pleaded guilty to charges levied against him in 2018.

Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams on Thursday announced that 47-year-old Ronald DeWitt Vines pleaded guilty to attempted armed bank robbery and using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. 


According to prosecutors, in Nov. 2017 Vine placed a loaded handgun against the head of a bank employee who was arriving to work at the PNC branch in Holland, Pennsylvania. 

Vines and his two sons, Elijah and Solomon, lead the employee into the bank until they came across a second bank employee who screamed when she realized the bank was being robbed, prosecutors said.

Vine and his two sons fled the bank in a getaway vehicle before being stopped by Northampton Township police officers responding to a 911 call. Police found one loaded semi-automatic handgun, one loaded rifle, and two body armor vests in the vehicle. 

"This defendant terrified and threatened the lives of bank employees who were just attempting to do their jobs, and he convinced his sons – young men with their whole lives ahead of them – to help him pull it off," said Acting U.S. Attorney Williams. "The simple fact is that this family is a danger to the community."

Prosecutors did not provide information about the status of Elijah and Solomon Vines.



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