Man pleads guilty to bank robberies

Staff report


A Canton man suspected of robbing a bank in Liberty has pleaded guilty to eight counts of bank robbery.

Benjamin G. Gates, 33, entered his plea Tuesday in the U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio in Cleveland.

Along with the Liberty robbery, he is charged with bank robberies in Canton, North Canton, Cuyahoga Falls, Pittsburgh and Erie, Pa. The eight robberies occurred from June 13 to Aug. 16 this year, where Gates netted $24,528 in stolen cash, authorities said.

On July 27, police said Gates walked into the Huntington Bank located inside the Giant Eagle on Belmont Avenue and asked the teller for cash before he pulled up his shirt and showed a black pistol tucked into his waistband.

According to police reports, Gates said, “What’s taking you so long? I’m a gangster. It’s not your money; its the FDIC’s,” referring to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The FDIC, according to its website, preserves and promotes public confidence in the U.S. financial system by insuring depositors for at least $250,000 per insured bank.

Gates’ sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 29.

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