By Logan Smith

DENVER (CBS4) — A federal judge recently sentenced Patrick James Murray to 10 years in prison for robbing three banks in the western Denver metro area last year.

James, 56, was caught after the third robbery on Jan. 30, 2021, exactly two weeks after he had committed the first.

According to the plea agreement in the case, James said to the officer who was driving him to jail, “No hard feelings, man. It’s just cops and robbers.”

Murray robbed a Chase Bank in Lakewood, a Chase Bank in Arvada, and a US Bank in Lakewood, per prosecutors. In the first two robberies, he handed the teller a note reading, “This is a robbery,” and demanded cash. In the third, Murray simply said, “I’m a robber, give me all your cash.”

A responding Westminster Police Department officer noticed Murray in the area of the last bank, first identifying him as a possible suspect based on his clothing description. The officer then saw Murray removing clothes and putting them in a dumpster.

Murray ran when the officer approached him but was caught following a short foot chase, according to the plea agreement.

Patrick James Murray following his arrest in January 2021. (credit: Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office)

Murray did not wear gloves during the robberies, and prosecutors were aided by the appearance of a distinctive hand tattoo in surveillance video from each of the banks.

“We appreciate our partners who helped take this serial bank robber off the streets for a very long time,” stated U.S. District Attorney Cole Finegan in a press release. “I sincerely hope this lengthy sentence deters anyone thinking of trying to rob a bank. It’s just not worth it.”

Murray was sentenced April 28. The judge recommended that Murray be placed in a Bureau of Prisons facility in Florida, but did not provide an explanation for that ruling in court’s sentencing document.

Online criminal records indicate Murray was previously arrested by local agencies for burglary, eluding and escape, and served time in the Colorado Department of Corrections prison system.

Logan Smith