FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – An Ohio man accused of robbing six banks and attempting to hold up another during a 2 1/2-week span a few summers ago received a nearly 6-year prison sentence Wednesday.
A case pending against him in another jurisdiction will likely add more time to that sentence.
A U.S. District Court judge in Fort Wayne handed 51-year-old Bart Ely, of Ohio City, Ohio, 71 months in prison for robbing the First Source Bank in downtown Bluffton back on June 4, 2021.
In that robbery, Ely got away with barely over $400, according to federal court documents.
During the ensuing weeks, Ely is accused of robbing other banks throughout central and southern Ohio before taking on the Old National Bank on Fort Wayne’s southwest side. In total, he took to the tune of $8,000, court documents said.
His final bank robbery happened in Englewood, Ohio, and police then traced him to a hotel in West Chester, Ohio, investigators said at the time.
In court documents, he’s accused of robbing the following:
- June 4 – First Source Bank in Bluffton, Ind. ($401 taken)
- June 5 – US Bank located in Tipp City, Ohio (unsuccessful)
- June 5 – First Financial Bank located in Troy, Ohio ($3,329 taken)
- June 10 – US Bank in Dublin, Ohio ($1,057 taken)
- June 12 – Chase Bank located in Lima, Ohio ($3,058 taken)
- June 17 – Old National Bank located in Fort Wayne, Ind. ($2,641 taken)
- June 22 – 5/3 Bank in Englewood, Ohio (755.50 taken)
Officers had to break into his hotel room and found him on the floor, bleeding from multiple self-inflicted knife wounds.
“Let me die, let me die,” he told officers, investigators said at the time. “I can’t go back to prison.
In court documents, federal investigators said Ely’s girlfriend told them he was addicted to crack cocaine.
Ely eventually pleaded guilty to one count of bank robbery in Indiana as part of a deal with federal prosecutors.
Judge Holly Brady on Wednesday ordered Ely to serve his sentence at a federal prison in Milan, Michigan, so he could be near family.
Ely has also pleaded guilty to bank robbery in the U.S. District Court of Southern Ohio and is awaiting sentencing next month.
Brady ruled that Ely will need to serve any sentence imposed by that court consecutively to the one she handed down, according to court documents.