Bank robber who recruited teens sentenced to 7 years in prison

One of two men who recruited teenagers to rob a series of banks in South Sound was sentenced Tuesday to seven years in prison.

Vincent Thompson, 31, pleaded guilty in January to two counts of bank robbery. His co-defendant, 31-year-old Robert Adams, already has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

“This was quite literally a tragedy waiting to happen ... for an adult to encourage juveniles to engage in serious criminal actions — simply because the adult wanted to be ‘paid’ without working — is deserving of a significant period of incarceration,” federal prosecutors wrote to the court when they asked for the seven-year sentence.

Thompson also must serve three years of supervised release after he completes his time in prison.

He was involved in eight bank robberies where he and Adams trained two 15-year-old boys to give tellers threatening notes and demand cash.

Thompson also robbed a Chase Bank branch on Canyon Road East in Puyallup on April 14, 2014.

The other banks were in Tacoma, Federal Way, Kent, Des Moines and Renton.