Bank robber sentenced in Ellsworth thefts

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff
Posted March 15, 2011, at 10:31 p.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A Bangor woman who was sentenced last week in federal court in Bangor to serve four years in prison for bank robbery was sentenced Tuesday morning for unrelated thefts she committed in Ellsworth.

Matisha Marie Pitts, 25, pleaded no contest Tuesday morning in Hancock County Superior Court to two charges of theft and guilty to two charges of violating conditions of release. The charges stem from the theft of $26 worth of cigarettes from the Smoke Shop in December 2009 and the use of two fake $100 bills at the Family Dollar store in January 2010.

Pitts’ defense attorney, Charles Helfrich of Ellsworth, told Justice Kevin Cuddy that his client was pleading no contest to the theft charges because of possible civil liability and to avoid any complicating issues with her federal sentence.

Pitts was sentenced on the theft charges to two six-month terms behind bars, each of which will be served concurrently with her federal sentence. Having prior theft convictions at the time of the Ellsworth incidents, Pitts also received two concurrent 30-day sentences for violating conditions of release. She also was ordered to pay total restitution of $226 within 90 days of her release from prison.

Assistant District Attorney Mary Kellett told Cuddy that in the Family Dollar theft, Pitts used two fake $100 bills to buy $23 worth of merchandise from the store on Jan. 26, 2010. Pitts, who had used regular paper to print the fake bills on a home computer, asked the cashier for and received $10 and $20 bills in change for the fake currency, Kellett said.

According to police, the cashier later became suspicious of the bills and, after testing them with an ink pencil, contacted local law enforcement.

On March 10, Pitts was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Bangor to serve four years behind bars for robbing the Bangor Savings Bank branch on State Street in Bangor on the morning of July 6, 2010. In that robbery, Pitts handed the teller a threatening note and walked out with $1,390 in cash. Later that same morning, police arrested Pitts for the robbery and recovered $780 of the stolen cash.

Pitts, who has been held in jail since her arrest last July, is expected to receive credit for time served. She is expected to be sentenced on an unrelated assault charge in Penobscot County within the next several weeks.

BDN reporter Judy Harrison contributed to this report.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/03/15/news/hancock/bank-robber-sentenced-in-ellsworth-thefts/ printed on July 25, 2014