Philadelphia, March 10, 2010: 24 year old Robert Barber, the so called “Blowtorch Bandit”, was sentenced to four to eight years in prison and ordered to pay 317 thousand dollars in restitution. For several years Barber targeted small “mom and pop” stores in South Philly, Northwest and Southwest Philly. Barber admitted to using a blowtorch to break into these businesses and burglarize them during the early morning hours. He was arrested in January of 2009 and charged with 22 counts of Commercial Burgerly and one count of Arson. Barber pleaded guilty in court on Wednesday before the Honorable Judge Genece Brinkley. Along with the four to eight years in prison, Judge Brinkley sentenced Barber to 10 years probation and ordered to pay every dime of the restitution. At sentencing Judge Brinkley told Barber if he fails to abide by her conditions he will be sentenced to spend the rest of life behind bars.
“After victimizing small business with his crimes for years Robert Barber is now where he belongs, behind bars,” says District Attorney Seth Williams. “ADA Noel DeSantis has helped get a serial criminal off the streets and I’m very proud of her hard work.”