Man sentenced after robbing girlfriend's employer for funds to buy her engagement ring

Image by Highland Police Department in Highland, Ill.

Man sentenced after robbing girlfriend's employer for funds to buy her engagement ring

By Julianne Cassidy. CREATED Jul 16, 2014

Detroit-based Ramsey Fakhouri, 22, was sentenced on Friday to six and half years in federal prison after holding an employee at the bank where his girlfriend worked at gunpoint while he robbed the bank of $26,000. The motive? Fakhouri wanted to purchase an engagement ring for the girlfriend. He committed his crime on Valentine's Day.

Prior to the robbery, Fakhouri placed a phone call to his girlfriend on speakerphone so that his future bank robbing accomplice, Alexander Gerth, 18, could hear her innocently describe the bank's routine. His girlfriend did not know Fakhouri would later use this information to hold up her manager at the Bradford National Bank branch in Highland, Illinois, at gunpoint. 

"Equipped with pellet guns resembling real semi-automatic pistols, authorities say, the Michigan friends drove Fakhouri’s 2008 Ford Mustang through the night to southern Illinois — getting a $120 speeding ticket along the way — and waited outside the bank for it to open, at one point watching the girlfriend pull onto the bank’s lot to start her shift," reports the Detroit Free Press. "She called to wish Fakhouri a good morning, unaware he was there."

"About 8:30 a.m. that day, prosecutors say that Gerth — masked and wielding the pellet gun — robbed the branch manager after she came out to refill the drive-up ATM. With Fakhouri driving the getaway car, the two suspects fled and were returning to Michigan when Fakhouri’s girlfriend texted him, voicing fears about the robbery she’d just seen," details the Detroit Free Press. "Fakhouri later told investigators Gerth dropped him off in Indianapolis, and he took a Greyhound bus back to comfort his girlfriend."

Fakhouri and his girlfriend had met at a Bible college a couple years before and had been in a long distance relationship.

Fakhouri surrendered after Walmart surveillance photos of the robbers were texted to his girlfriend. The megastore's location was in close proximity to the bank.

Gerth was arrested three days later, and awaits his own sentencing set for August. Fakhouri reportedly shared the stolen money with Gerth.

Julianne Cassidy

Julianne Cassidy

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A city girl gone country, Philadelphia-bred journalist Julianne Cassidy relocated to be a Nashville-based digital editor for Scripps Media, Inc.