Ardmore bank robber sentenced to more than 12 years in federal prison

Sierra Rains
Zachary Gage Pebley

An Oklahoma man who robbed an Ardmore bank in October 2019 was sentenced to 147 months of imprisonment in federal prison and three years of probation.

According to an April 29 press release from the United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Oklahoma, 22-year-old Zachary Gage Pebley of MaComb, Oklahoma was found guilty of armed bank robbery earlier this year.

The jury trail began on January 21, 2020 and concluded a day later on January 22 with a guilty verdict as a result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Ardmore Police Department.

Evidence presented at the trail proved to the jury that on October 15, 2019 Pebley entered the Bank of the West in Ardmore wearing a black hat, sunglasses and a white bandana over his face. He then approached and pointed a gun at a bank teller, demanding that money be placed into a pillowcase.

After receiving the money, Pebley fled from the bank and within minutes was pursued and detained by a bystander who had seen him running from the bank, according to the press release.

In an October 16 interview, Ardmore Police Department Capt. Keith Ingle told The Ardmoreite the bystander pursued and managed to knock Pebley down after thinking he had stolen a purse from a woman.

“He chased him thinking that the guy had stolen a purse from a lady or something because he was carrying something in his hand and the lady was screaming and pointing and he didn’t hear what they said,” Ingle said. “He just thought that the guy had robbed her so he chased him.”

Pebley then got back up, dropping a bag containing over $3,000 in cash, and jumped a nearby fence. The bystander alerted police and less than 30 minutes later, officers with the Ardmore Police Department located Pebley hiding in a back yard and arrested him.

“Armed bank robbery is a serious violent crime which is aggressively investigated, prosecuted and punished," said Melissa Godbold, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Oklahoma City Field Office. "The quick intervention by a good Samaritan led to the apprehension of Mr. Pebley by the Ardmore Police Department. This is an example of how the FBI, our law enforcement partners, and Oklahomans work together to defend their community against those who commit violent crime."

According to the press release, Pebley will remain in custody pending transportation to the designated federal facility at which the non-parolable sentence will be served.

“Alert victims, a willing bystander, rapid response by the Ardmore Police Department, and their thorough investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation led to swift justice against the defendant in just over six months following his crime,” said United States Attorney Brian J. Kuester. “This investigation and prosecution was a result of teamwork at its finest – local and federal law enforcement agencies working together with the communities they serve and protect.”