Man receives probation for aiding armored car heist

By DeeAnna Haney | Feb 15, 2013
Jerry Blake Bogan

The second person involved in an armored car robbery in 2011 will not face active prison time thanks to his cooperation with authorities following his arrest.

Jerry Blake Bogan, 39, conspired with 24-year-old Alex Stephen Loftis to rob the Dunbar Armored truck for which Loftis worked.

On the morning of Nov. 10, Loftis was making a scheduled delivery to an ATM at the Exxon on Radio Hill in Canton. When his co-worker exited the vehicle to drop off the money, Loftis allowed Bogan to enter the truck. Bogan took the man’s gun and was accused of using a Taser on him, although Bogan denied that action.

Bogan later made away with about $1.2 million and Loftis drove to the State Employees Credit Union where his co-worker, who did not realize Loftis was part of the robbery, called the police.

Loftis was arrested later that day and Bogan was arrested the next morning after having hid the money at his South Carolina home.

Shortly after his arrest, he led detectives to the stolen money, which was buried in a metal chest under his porch, hidden in a utility building and under his dresser drawer.

Bogan testified during Loftis’ trial in January, claiming that it was Loftis’ idea to carry out the robbery and make it seem as if it wasn’t an inside job.

The two had been friends for several years after working together at Loftis’ family-owned business in South Carolina and began planning the robbery several months before the crime.

“The plan was to put on a show and make it look like an actual robbery," Bogan said during the trial, adding that Loftis told him his co-worker would also be involved in the plan.

“It seemed like it would be easy and I have a lot of family members that are on disability and have medical problems….it just seemed like it would be an easy job,” Bogan said.

Despite Loftis’ denial of having been involved in the robbery at all, a jury found him guilty of four felony charges. He was ultimately sentenced to between six and eight years in the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections. He has since filed for appeal.

During Haywood County Superior Court Monday, Bogan pleaded guilty to robbery with a dangerous weapon, a Class D felony, which typically carries a mandatory active prison sentence.

Prosecutors, however, agreed to the existence of extraordinary mitigating factors in the case, which allowed the judge to offer a probationary sentence instead, said Assistant District Attorney Rachael Groffsky.

Among the mitigating factors were Bogan’s truthful testimony for the state that led to Loftis’ prosecution, aiding in the recovery of the stolen money and firearm, acknowledging wrongdoing early on and having no prior criminal history.

Superior Court Judge J. Thomas Davis, who has been a judge for seven years, said he has only recognized extraordinary mitigating factors in a case twice during his career.

Groffsky said sentencing based on extraordinary mitigating factors is extremely rare, but it was appropriate in this case.

“He played a significant role in Loftis’ conviction,” she said.

Bogan was placed on 24 months supervised probation, during which time he is allowed to go home to South Carolina and raise his four children. If he violates the terms of his probation, however, he will be required to serve a 38 to 55 month prison sentence.

Pursuant to the plea, prosecutors dismissed the remaining charges against him, including kidnapping, conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit second-degree kidnapping.