A 70-year-old confessed bank robber from Little Falls was sentenced to five years in prison Friday for holding up banks four days apart in Wayne and Pequannock.
Wayne detectives, with help from the FBI and the Passaic County Sheriff's Office, captured Philip N. McGrantham as he returned home in a rented Nissan Altima that a law enforcement source told Daily Voice was used earlier that day in the Sept. 30 robbery last year of a TD Bank branch on Valley Avenue.
He was carrying the proceeds of the holdup at the time, authorities said.
McGrantham struck a deal with prosecutors and admitted three months later that he committed that robbery and also held up a Wells Fargo branch on Route 23 in Pompton Plains four days earlier.
He wore the same disguise in both robberies, including a fake beard, a black baseball cap and a hoodie, and claimed to have a weapon and explosives, authorities said.
In the Pequannock holdup, McGrantham first made a bogus 911 call of a man with a gun in the parking lot of a Route 23 Target as a ruse to divert the attention of law enforcement while he robbed the Wells Fargo bank just up the road.
McGrantham must serve at least four years and three months of the sentence given to him Friday in Morristown by Superior Court Judge Robert M. Hanna before he can be eligible for parole under the No Early Release Act.
The judge also ordered him to pay restitution from the Pequannock Township robbery.
McGrantham was co-prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Tara Wang of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and Assistant Prosecutor Steven Bollenbach of the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office.
“Their collaborative work is a model for future investigations,” Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp said.
Knapp also acknowledged the “exceptional collaboration” among Wayne and Pequannock police, the FBI, tthe Morris County Sheriff’s Crime Scene Investigation Unit, the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office and his own Major Crime Unit.
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