KEY POINTS

  • A 56-year-old man was sentenced to 46 months in prison after he was convicted of attempted bank robbery
  • He attempted to rob a Pittsburgh bank in 2019 while in a wheelchair by claiming he had a bomb
  • Investigators found his abandoned wheelchair and found a fingerprint that matched his

A 56-year-old man was sentenced to prison after he tried to rob a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, bank in 2019 while in a wheelchair, prosecutors said this week.

Emanuel Luna, a former Pittsburgh resident, was sentenced by District Judge Joy Flowers Conti to 46 months in prison and three years of supervised release after being convicted of attempted bank robbery, according to a statement released Thursday.

While using a wheelchair as a prop, Luna entered the First National Bank located at 114 E. Carson Street just before 3:20 p.m. on Aug. 13, 2019, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania said in the statement, citing information presented to the court.

Luna was wearing a pair of dark pants, a dark hooded sweatshirt and a black hat when he handed a note to a teller that demanded he be given money.

"I have a bomb if you don’t want to die you will give and it is in my backpack I will press the button and kill us all for no less than $50,000 dollars please try me," the note read.

The teller had activated the alarm and used her telephone to call the manager following the threat. As the teller began to cry, Luna wheeled himself to the front door and exited the bank before receiving the money, according to prosecutors.

Investigators located Luna's black wheelchair at the corner of E. Carson Street and 12th Street, where they recovered a fingerprint that matched Luna's.

Luna, through his counsel, acknowledged during the sentencing that the robbery had been a "really stupid crime" and that it was "inconceivable" that he would manage to get away with it.

The court explained that Luna's sentence had "balanced all of the factors the Court is to consider," according to the statement.

"[T]he sentence reflects that this was a 'very serious' offense, and that going into a bank and threatening to have a bomb is a 'terrible situation' to put people under who have no way of knowing whether you actually have a bomb," the attorney's office said in the statement.

"[T]his type of sentence addresses the need to promote respect for the law, signaling to others that it is 'not worth it to rob a bank,'" it continued.

The court also acknowledged that Luna, whose criminal record had only started in his 50s, was given a sentence at the low end of the guideline range for a term of imprisonment, but the maximum amount of time on supervised release, to take into account the need to "protect the community" from Luna and to "ensure that he receives the services he needs to become a productive member of society upon release."

usd-2874026_1280 Representation. Emanuel Luna, 56, robbed a bank in 2019 while in a wheelchair by claiming he had a bomb. Photo: Pixabay