“Beltway Bank Bandit” sentenced to 21 years in prison


ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WDVM) — A Washington man was sentenced on Tuesday after committing a series of armed robberies in Arlington and Alexandria in 2018 and 2019. 

Known as the “Beltway Bank Bandit,” 35-year-old Freddie Lee McRae was sentenced to 21 years in prison. 

McRae admitted to robbing several banks in the area as part of his guilty plea. In one incident in 2019, McRae led authorities on a car chase on George Washington Memorial Parkway before he jumped out of the car prior to it crashing and sinking in the Potomac River. 

Raj Parekh, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, commented on the dangerous Potomac incident, stating, “We are thankful to our law enforcement partners for their thorough investigation across multiple jurisdictions to bring the defendant to justice, including apprehending him after he jumped out of a moving vehicle prior to it crashing and sinking into the Potomac River.”

According to the release, the case was investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office’s Northern Virginia Violent Crime Safe Streets Task Force, and significant investigative assistance was provided by the Arlington County Police Department and the Fairfax County Police Department.

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