2010-09-02 / Local & State

Pa. Woman Gets 19-Plus Years In Violent Bank Heist

LIGONIER, Pa. (AP) – A Pittsburgh woman will spend 19 years and seven months in federal prison in what authorities called the “armed takeover’’ of a rural bank that netted robbers nearly $77,000 in 2008.

Sarah Blair was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty to the heist at the First Commonwealth Bank in Ligonier Township.

Authorities said robbers wearing motorcycle or paintball helmets burst into the bank. Authorities believe the heist was related to a “diversion’’ that drew police attention when someone fired a gun into a discount retail store a couple miles away. Nobody was hurt in that shooting, and a judge on Thursday refused to increase Blair’s sentence, saying prosecutors didn’t prove it was linked to the heist.

Three others are awaiting trial for their alleged role.

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