Saturday, February 24, 2024

PNC Bank robber headed to prison

Marquis Larosa Buckley (left) and Austin Lee Howard. (Courtesy of the Virginia Beach Police Department)
Marquis Larosa Buckley (left) and Austin Lee Howard. (Courtesy of the Virginia Beach Police Department)

VIRGINIA BEACH — A local man was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years in prison for his part in an armed robbery of a bank here.

According to court documents, Austin Lee Howard, 35, robbed a PNC Bank with Marquis Larosa Buckley, 41.

Howard was caught on surveillance video entering the bank the day before the robbery to become familiar with the layout, where the tellers and offices were located, and whether there were any security cameras and personnel in the bank, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

On Oct. 13, 2017 Buckley — disguised in a wig and sunglasses — went into the bank, 2422 Princess Anne Road, armed with a handgun and an item that looked like an explosive device. He demanded money from the clerk before throwing the fake device onto the floor and firing his gun into the ceiling once, according to court documents.

The tellers handed about $8,000. During the robbery, one of the tellers hid an electronic tracking device in the money given to Buckley before he fled the scene and got into the vehicle driven by Howard.

Virginia Beach Police tracked the pair’s movements via GPS, and eventually found the vehicle and recovered the money and the pistol used in the robbery, and the disguise worn by Buckley.

Buckley pleaded guilty to part on July 3. He is scheduled for sentencing on Oct. 3.

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