Fawzi Atra, bank robber known as 'silent bandit,' sent to prison

Author: , Senior Producer, KShank@wfmz.com
Published: Jan 30 2013 05:16:57 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 31 2013 06:34:16 AM EST
SCRANTON, Pa. -

A convicted bank robber known as the "silent bandit" will spend years behind bars.

Fawzi Atra, of Bethlehem Twp., Northampton Co., was sentenced to nearly six years in federal prison Wednesday.

Atra, 43, robbed four banks in Northampton, Bucks and Monroe counties in Pennsylvania and two banks in New Jersey over a two-week span last April, police said.

Atra told a judge he staged the spree because he owed the government $11,000 for unemployment benefits he'd received in error while out of work.

The FBI dubbed him the "silent bandit" because he never spoke during the robberies and would only communicate using notes.