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Bank-robbing grandmother sentenced

/ Source: The Associated Press

A woman was sentenced Tuesday to nearly six years in prison for robbing two Michigan banks while on a trip to visit her son — a police officer. She also admitted to 10 other robberies in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Margaret Ann Thomas-Irving’s arrest capped a nine-month crime spree in which the 58-year-old grandmother held up four banks, two savings and loans, two restaurants and two Dunkin’ Donuts shops. The robberies netted just under $20,000.

The Hartford, Conn., woman was arrested in 2003 on the same day she allegedly robbed two banks in Lansing. She pleaded guilty in February to two counts of bank robbery.

On Tuesday, District Judge Gordon J. Quist sentenced Thomas-Irving to 70 months in prison and ordered her to pay $17,565 in restitution.

“I’ve been incarcerated for almost a year and I’ve thought a lot about what I did and I feel very ashamed of it,” she said at her sentencing hearing.

When the judge gave her a chance to say something to family in the courtroom, Thomas-Irving turned toward her son, an officer with the Bath Township Police Department, and mouthed the words, “I’m sorry.”

Paul Denenfeld, who represented Thomas-Irving, said she committed the robberies because she was desperate about mounting financial woes.

Prosecutor Lloyd Meyer was less than sympathetic about her plight.

“When the mortgage is due, it’s probably not a great idea to act like Uncle Junior Soprano,” Meyer said.