Wichita man sentenced to 12 years in jewelry store robbery

Terrence Thomas_375267

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita man who held a jewelry store owner at gunpoint was sentenced today to twelve years in federal prison.

U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said Terence Thomas, 25, of Wichita pleaded guilty to one count of brandishing a firearm during a jewelry store robbery and one count of bank robbery in a separate incident.

Thomas admitted he had a knife when he first approached the owner of Kim Chee Jewelry at 2038 N. Broadway. The owner then drew a gun 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.

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