A career bank robber from New Haven has admitted to being the getaway driver in two recent Connecticut bank robberies.
Gary W. Bornman, 58, of New Haven, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty Friday, July 31, to two counts of bank robbery, according to the Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office, Connecticut.
Over his lifetime, Bornman has admitted to or has been found guilty of robbing at least a 10 banks.
Bornman had been out of jail for about a year - he was serving time for burglarizing another bank - when he robbed the first of the two Connecticut banks.
He now faces a maximum of 40 years of imprisonment.
The charges against Bornman stem from incidents in East Haven and East Windsor. He also violated the conditions of his parole for a prior federal case.
On Oct. 29, 2019, Bornman drove a female accomplice to the Citizens Bank, 430 Foxon Boulevard, East Haven. While he waited outside, the woman entered the bank wearing a red wig, approached the teller and demanded money, according to court documents. The teller handed over $1,003.
On Jan. 27, 2020, Bornman drove a male accomplice to the People’s United Bank, 20 Main St., East Windsor. Again, he waited in the car while his accomplice entered the bank. The accomplice allegedly shoed the teller a note demanding money, court documents stated. The teller handed over about $1,056.
When Borman robbed the two banks, he was in breach of the parole he was on for a prior bank-robbing conviction. In 2001, Bornman was sentenced in Hartford federal court to 21 years and 7 months of imprisonment plus five years of parole for bank robbing spree and a firearm possession offense. He was released in October 2018.
Bornman has been detained since being arrested on Feb. 12. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 27.
Prior to his 2001 conviction, Bornman had been found guilty of robbing eight banks in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
His robberies have produced a few interesting stories.
Bornman once robbed a Stamford bank and was arrested soon afterward. Police found him having lunch at a restaurant across the street, according to a 2001 Hartford Courant article. The police arrived before his food did, the paper noted. He got 84 months in jail for the Stamford robbery.
Another time, he robbed a bank while the employees were conducting a drill on how to handle a robbery; they thought he was part of the training and handed over the money, the Courant reported.
Bornman, himself, foretold his most recent arrest when he wrote a letter to the Los Angeles Times in 1999 about the failures of the U.S. penal system.
The Courant quoted the letter:
"In little more than 14 months, in all probability, I'll commit murder, perhaps even mass murder," he wrote. "That's when I'm due to be released from federal prison, where I'm serving a seven-year sentence for bank robbery."
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