A Wichita man who held a jewelry store owner at gunpoint during a robbery and robbed a bank in 2015 was ordered Wednesday to serve 12 years in federal prison, U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said.
Terence L. Thomas, 25, pleaded guilty to one count of brandishing a firearm during a robbery and one count of bank robbery.
Prosecutors say Thomas approached the owner of Kim Chi Jewelry, 2038 N. Broadway, and his wife with a knife as the pair were opening the store in December 2015. He then wrestled away a handgun the owner pulled out in self-defense. The gun discharged during the scuffle.
When Thomas got the gun, he forced the owner to open the door to the jewelry store and tried to drag the owner’s wife inside, Beall said. But she fell to the ground, feigning a heart attack.
Thomas fled after the owner locked him out of the store. A woman took photos of Thomas’ car as it left and turned them over to police, which led to his arrest.
A month earlier, Thomas robbed the Fidelity Bank at 3525 E. Harry, Beall said. In that case, he told the teller “This is a robbery” and counted down from 20 while the employee put cash in his bag.