Track star sentenced for bank robberies

A former high school and college track star couldn’t outrun the law after committing four bank robberies in Oakland last year.

22-year-old Noah Blue of Oakland was sentenced to more than six years in federal prison after being convicted for entering banks wearing a face mask and gloves and passing notes to tellers announcing that he was robbing them and demanding money.

Authorities said the robberies occurred at the Bank of the West Branch at 2023 Mountain Blvd. on July 26, Aug. 1 and Aug. 26, 2013, and at the Chase Bank branch at 3310 International Blvd. on Sept. 4, 2013.

Police said that in the robbery at the Bank of the West branch on Aug. 26, 2013, Blue was armed with an 18-inch baton, jumped a counter and confronted tellers face-to-face, raising the baton at one teller and threatening to beat her if she didn’t give him money.

Blue was arrested on Sept. 4, 2013, and on July 18 he pleaded guilty to one count of armed bank robbery and three counts of unarmed bank robbery.

At a hearing last Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Jon Tigar sentenced Blue to six and one half years in federal prison and ordered him to pay full restitution to the Bank of the West branch.

The money that was stolen from the Chase Bank was seized at the time of Blue’s arrest, authorities said.

Blue was a standout hurdler at Skyline High School in Oakland, where he graduated in 2010, and also was on the track team at California State University, Northridge.