‘I didn’t think y’all would get here so fast’: Man sentenced to 10 years in prison after stealing $4K in cash, threatening bank employees in Fort Bend County

Patrick O'Neil Howard, 50 is sentenced to 10 years in prison for a bank robbery in March (Fort Bend County District Attorney's Office)

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas – A Fort Bend County man is now facing 10 years in prison after he stole $4,000 from a bank and threatened bank employees that he had a bomb, authorities said Thursday.

The Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office said the incident happened at a Brazos Valley Schools Credit Union bank in Rosenberg on March 25.

In a news release on Thursday authorities recalled that Patrick O’Neil Howard, 50, entered the bank wearing a mask, beanie and a hoodie. As he approached the teller, he slid a note across the counter that read, “Got a bomb, give me money.”

Bank tellers gave Howard a total of $4,000 of cash on the counter, then he calmly walked out of the building, according to the district attorney’s office.

Bank employees immediately called 911 after Howard left the building and Rosenberg police showed up within minutes after. Howard was caught nearby the bank shortly after.

“Y’all have a really good response time, I didn’t think y’all would get here that fast,” he told police.

Rosenberg police searched Howard and found that he did not have a weapon or a bomb on him, as he only had the cash and the note inside his pockets. He told detectives that he did not want to use a gun because he was “afraid of being shot at and did not want to hurt anyone.”

Howard testified before a judge and heard from six prosecution witnesses, including the bank teller who received the note who said She discussed how she was worried about her life, the lives of her colleagues and patrons inside the bank, and the children in the school next door. Howard said in court that he would have taken in hostages if he used a gun during the robbery, authorities said.

A judge found Howard guilty of robbery and announced the 10-year sentence. Howard asked the judge for leniency and requested probation but was denied due to a prior drug conviction, according to the district attorney’s office.

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A graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown, Ana moved to H-Town from sunny southern California in 2015. In 2020, she joined the KPRC 2 digital team as an intern. Ana is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, a catmom of 2, and an aquarium enthusiast. In her spare time, she's an avid video gamer and loves to travel.