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Home » News » Crime

May 21. 2014 7:33PM

Hampton woman sentenced for two Seacoast bank robberies


READER 

SEABROOK — A woman who helped rob two banks in Hampton and Seabrook with her boyfriend was sentenced on Wednesday to 46 months in federal prison.

Danielle Reader, 31, of Hampton learned her sentence in U.S. District Court, where she was indicted for a carrying out the bank robberies between April 3 and 20, 2013.

She pleaded guilty in February to two counts of aiding and abetting bank robbery.

Her boyfriend, Jason Pratt, is serving a 41-month sentence after pleading guilty in November to charges that he robbed three banks, starting with Provident Bank in Seabrook last March 22.

Reader allegedly served as a driver and “scoped out” banks to target in New Hampshire, according to court records.

Prosecutors say that Reader made off with $9,270 in cash from two of the robberies and used the money to feed her drug habit. Reader and Pratt together stole more than $11,000 in cash from the three robberies, investigators said.

Police began to unravel the couple’s alleged robbery spree last April 25.

A confidential informant tipped Hampton police Detective Chris Gilroy that Pratt played a role in the robberies, court records say. Seabrook police Detective Daniel Lawrence was told by another informant two days later that Reader confided that her boyfriend was responsible for the robberies and “that they got over $10,000,” according to a police affidavit.

Reader was arrested at the Seabrook police station last May 1She told police during an interview that Pratt did not disclose what he was doing ahead of time when he pulled the first heist at Provident Bank in Seabrook on March 22.

Pratt pulled over his vehicle into an apartment complex and told her he was going to rob a bank and gave her instructions on where to pick him up, according to an affidavit.Reader claimed she did not believe her boyfriend would actually rob the bank, but did as she was told and met up with him in front of a Staples store nearby after the robbery, police said.

“She went on to claim that she had no prior knowledge of Pratt robbing any of the three banks,” Lawrence said in a sworn affidavit.

The other two robberies happened at another Provident Bank on Lafayette Road in Hampton on April 3 and a TD Bank on High Street in Hampton on April 20, investigators said.

After Reader gave a statement to police, Pratt decided to talk to police last May 3. At the time, Pratt was being held at the Rockingham County jail on an unrelated charge. Pratt told police that Reader, “had just as much knowledge and involvement as he did,” in planning and carrying out the three robberies, according to Lawrence.

Reader eventually admitted to her role in the robberies during a separate police interview, according to court records.

While acting as the getaway driver, Reader told police during the April 3 robbery she “went into Dunkin’ Donuts on Lafayette Road for a coffee” while Pratt walked into the Provident Bank next door and threatened a bank clerk. Reader hopped back into her boyfriend’s truck and drove behind the Galley Hatch restaurant to pick him up, police said.

She used a similar ploy during the April 20 robbery of TD Bank on High Street, when she walked into a local restaurant for a few minutes and grabbed a menu while a disguised Pratt held up the bank, Hampton police Detective Stephen Champey said in an affidavit.

Reader told police the money from the robberies was used to buy heroin and eight balls of cocaine, records say.

jkimble@newstote.com


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