Police: Pharmacy Robbery Suspect Was Repeat Offender - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Police: Pharmacy Robbery Suspect Was Repeat Offender

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - It's a case that's bringing up an alarming issue yet again. Dennis Fitzpatrick committed armed robbery twice before and both times was given early release.

Police said it happened a third time last week while he was out on parole.

Last week, police arrested the 58-year-old for holding up an East Nashville Walgreens. Police said he's been arrested at least 75 times.
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In 1996, he was convicted of aggravated robbery. He was paroled before ever finishing his 19 year sentence. Then, in 2006, Fitpatrick was convicted of aggravated robbery again. He was paroled after serving just four of his fourteen year sentence.

The Board of Probation and Parole said several factors are considered in each case like good behavior, time served and the seriousness of the offense.

In fact, when Fitzpatrick came up for parole in 2008, the board denied him. Instead, he was kept in prison for two more years.

Metro Police said they're tired of the growing trend. Lt. Danny Driskell isn't satisfied.

"Somewhere along the line it's got to stop," said Lt. Driskell.

He said there are too many people like Fitzpatrick waltzing in and out of jail for the same crimes. That's why he's calling on the Hobbs Act for federal help. It would allow federal agents to get involved, and force repeat offenders to serve longer sentences in federal prisons.

"Maybe this time he won't be out in a year or two," Driskell added.

The Hobbs Act allows federal agents to prosecute armed robbers who target local businesses.

If convicted, criminals get longer prison sentences and always serve the full term.  The federal system does not offer parole.

The Board of Probation and Parole has already caught wind of Fitzpatricks' recent arrest. They've filed a parole violation report and they're reviewing the case. In the end, Fitzpatrick could get his parole revoked and be forced to finish that original sentence.

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