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PRESS RELEASE: Wichita Man, Terence L. Thomas, Pleads Guilty In Jewelry Store Robbery and Bank Robbery

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Kansas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, January 30, 2017

Wichita Man Pleads Guilty In Jewelry Store Robbery and Bank Robbery

WICHITA, KAN. B A Wichita man who held a jewelry store owner at gunpoint pleaded guilty Monday in that incident and a separate bank robbery, U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said.

Terence L. Thomas, 25, Wichita, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of brandishing a firearm during the jewelry store incident and one count of bank robbery.

In the jewelry store incident, Thomas admitted he had a knife when he approached the owner of Kim Chee Jewelry at 2038 N. Broadway as the owner and his wife arrived for work. The owner drew a handgun in self-defense. The two men wrestled and shots were fired before Thomas got the gun. He forced the owner to open the door to the business. When Thomas tried to drag the owner’s wife into the business, she fell to the ground, feigning a heart attack. Thomas fled the scene after the owner locked him out of the business. A witness took photos of Thomas’ car as he fled, which helped police to identify Thomas and arrest him.

In a separate incident a month earlier, Thomas robbed the Fidelity Bank at 3525 E. Harry. He told the teller, “This is a robbery,” and counted down from twenty while the teller put cash in his bag. He fled the bank with the money.

Sentencing is set for April 19. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on the bank robbery count, and a penalty of not less than seven years (consecutive) and a fine up to $250,000 on the charge of brandishing a firearm during a robbery. Beall commended the Wichita Police Department, FBI and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Hart for their work on the case.

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