Crider sentenced to 39 years

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By Deborah Swearingen

The man who robbed five Colorado banks, including three in South Jeffco, was sentenced Monday to 39 years in prison.

Gary Mark Crider, 50, was arrested in early January in connection with robberies at two banks on West Bowles Avenue, as well as at banks in Louisville and Westminster between Dec. 9 and Jan. 6. He was charged with 12 felony counts of aggravated robbery, robbery and theft.

According to the arrest affidavit, Crider was a suspect in the following robberies:

• At a Bank of the West in the 800 block of East South Boulder Road in Louisville on Dec. 9.

• At a UMB Bank in the 8000 block of West Bowles Avenue in South Jeffco 10 days later.

• At a Bank of the West in the 6700 block of West Bowles on Dec. 23.

• At a U.S. Bank in the 800 block of West 120th Avenue in Westminster on Dec. 29.

• At the same UMB Bank on West Bowles in a second incident on Jan. 6.

Crider was arrested later on Jan. 6 at the SpringHill Suites Denver North hotel in Westminster.

During the robberies, he wore several masks, including Black Panther and Darth Vader disguises. He had pepper spray but implied he had a gun. One of the tellers was eight months pregnant at the time and told authorities she “was scared for the health and safety of her baby and herself during and after the robbery,” according to the arrest affidavit.

In the sentencing, which lasted about 30 minutes, Stephanie Seibold, Crider’s public defender, detailed a history of addiction and sexual abuse. She said the sexual abuse, which allegedly happened when Crider was a toddler, is something he never spoke about until recent therapy sessions in jail.

Seibold mentioned thoughts from Crider’s therapist, who wasn’t allowed to write a letter for him. The therapist called Crider one of her favorite clients and said reckless behavior is not uncommon for those with a history of abuse. While none of this excused his behavior, Seibold hoped Crider’s past might help the court understand how he ended up where he did, and she praised Crider’s behavior as an inmate.

“Mr. Crider is someone who makes the most of his time in prison,” she said.

Crider echoed this point, telling Judge Lily Oeffler he is happier than he’s ever been.

“I’ve always wanted a greater purpose in life,” he said, telling Oeffler of his plans to use his theology degree to begin a therapy group in prison.

The prosecution, however, focused largely on Crider’s past offenses. In addition to a variety of other convictions, including past robberies, Crider was convicted of attempted murder for an argument where he ultimately beat a neighbor with a hammer. The deputy district attorney also mentioned Crider’s precision in the five most recent robberies and said he learned from past mistakes and became “a more effective bank robber.”

Oeffler told Crider she understood the struggle of sexual and substance abuse but said she couldn’t avoid his history. She called each of the five robberies “thought of, planned, considered.” Each time, she said, Crider had an opportunity to stop what he was doing and walk out of the bank.

For the felony aggravated robbery charges, she sentenced Crider to 17 years for each to run consecutively. She sentenced him to five years total for the other 10 charges of robbery and theft. Those five years are to run consecutively with the other 34.

Contact reporter Deborah Swearingen at dswearingen@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1042. Follow her on Twitter @djswearingen.