'Blond Bandit' Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison

Stephanie Lynn Schwab, whose crime spree included carjacking a woman in Tysons in November, must also pay thousands in restitution

Stephanie Lynn Schwab, known across the area as the "Blond Bandit," was sentenced to 11 years in prison Thursday for a series of crimes in Virginia.

Schwab's sentence — which amounts to 132 months in prison— is "for carrying out three bank robberies, stealing and carjacking three cars she used in those robberies, and participating in a heroin distribution ring operating out of Manassas," said the Eastern District United States Attorney’s Office public information officer Peter Carr.

Schwab's crime spree included

Following her release from prison, she will also have four years of supervised release and will have to pay more than $24,000 in restitution, Carr said.

car theft and a drug charge in federal district court in April. 

"Stephanie Schwab's reckless crime spree was a risk to the public in many different communities," U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride said in a prepared statement. "Her complete disregard for the law and public safety justifies the lengthy sentence."

"During a two-week period, Stephanie Schwab committed multiple crimes across various jurisdictions and put the community in danger with her reckless actions," Assistant Director in Charge James McJunkin said in a release. "This sentence is the result of strong law enforcement cooperation to bring her to justice."

Initially, Schwab, 27, was indicted on six charges related to a  throughout  two counts of bank robbery, one count of attempted bank robbery and three counts of transporting stolen vehicles across state lines.

Schwab's crimes included a Nov. 18 robbery of a Commerce Bank near Manassas;  on Nov. 19; the robbery of a BB&T in West Springfield on Nov. 22; an  in Catonsville, Md.; and an attempted bank robbery of a BB&T in McLean on Nov. 30.

Carr said in a release Schwab "admitted her participation in a separate case involving a heroin trafficking ring that purchased large supplies of heroin from sources in New York and the Washington, D.C.-metro area and distributed the heroin to customers in Manassas from 2009 through 2011."

"Fairfax County Police Department arrested Schwab following her attempted robbery of a bank on Nov. 30, 2011," Carr said in the release. "After leading law enforcement on a high-speed chase on Interstate 495 onto a local road in Montgomery County, Md., she turned the stolen vehicle into oncoming traffic and caused a three-vehicle crash."

She tried to flee on foot but was caught and arrested by the pursuing officer, Carr said.

Patch editors Erica R. Hendry, Lauren Sausser and Jason Spencer contributed to this report. 

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lisa trimble August 09, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Only 11 years? Seriously????
ClintJCL August 09, 2012 at 11:27 PM
Blonde? Seriously? Having slightly-lighter brown hair doesn't make you a frickin' blonde.
Amelie Krikorian August 09, 2012 at 11:40 PM
I agree. Eleven years - and probably a whole lot less if she shows "good behavior" seems like hardly enough for the multiple offenses. carjacking at knifepoint and heroin dealing, plus the bank robberies.... It sure doesn't seem like more than a slap on the wrist. How much you want to bet she is out in five? People whose cars she destroyed pay that long in car payments.
Lauren Sausser August 10, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Point well made.
Larry August 10, 2012 at 12:53 AM
I agree. Eleven years for 3 bank robberies, multiple car jackings, plus heroine distribution. Plus since this is a federal sentence she is eligible for parole unlike VA which doesn't have parole.


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