Commonwealth v. Tracy Lavern Mills; 21 Years to Serve for Robbing the Same Bank Twice

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Harvey L. Bryant, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach, announced today that Tracy Lavern Mills, 39 years old, who previously resided in the 6100 block on Black Smith Court in Virginia Beach was sentenced today by Circuit Court Judge Edward W. Hanson Jr. for four (4) counts each of Armed Robbery and Use of a Firearm, two (2) counts each of Armed Entry into Bank and Wearing a Mask, and one (1) count of Assault of a Law Enforcement Officer.  Judge Hanson sentenced Mills to 153 years in the Department of Corrections with 132 years suspended, leaving 21 years to serve.  Mills pled guilty on November 7, 2011.

The Commonwealth’s evidence proved that on the morning of January 11, 2011, Tracy Lavern Mills entered the Wachovia Bank at 1612 Independence Blvd. in Virginia Beach, displayed a handgun, and ordered everyone to the ground.  His face was masked.  Mills demanded that the tellers give him bills in $50 and $100 denominations, which he shoved into a bag he brought with him.  He thanked each teller as he took money from them, and he tried unsuccessfully to get money from the vault in the back.  When a customer entered the bank, he ordered that customer to the ground at gunpoint.  He then fled on foot towards the rear of a business next door.

On the morning of April 22, 2011, Tracy Lavern Mills robbed the same bank again, masked and at gunpoint.   He repeated the same commands in the same manner as the January robbery.  After obtaining money and placing it in a bag he brought with him, he fled in the same direction as in the previous robbery. During the robbery, an employee was able to call the police. One responding officer recalled the direction the robber fled during the January robbery. That officer waited on a neighborhood street behind the bank in case the robber repeated this path again.  The officer encountered Mills and attempted to stop him.  Mills refused, held the right side of his waistband, and then got into the driver’s seat of a vehicle.  The officer continued attempting to stop Mills, but Mills accelerated at a high rate of speed, heading straight for the officer.  The officer then shot at the vehicle, and Mills sustained two gunshot wounds before crashing his vehicle into a house. 

Wachovia employees who were present for both crimes stated that the same person committed both robberies.  Evidence linking Mills to both bank robberies was recovered from his house and car. 

This case was prosecuted by Associate Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael D. Defricke.  Please contact Macie Pridgen if additional information is desired.