Bank robber pleads guilty in May robbery of Saratoga National

The man who robbed Saratoga National Bank on May 24, pleaded guilty to robbery in the third degree, a felony, on Thursday, July 29, according to Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy.

Matthew E. Forbes, 26, of 23 Walter Dr. in Saratoga Springs, is accused of demanding money from a teller during the bank robbery in May, although he did not possess or threaten a gun, according to Murphy's office. The bank teller knew Forbes and identified him to police, said Murphy's office.

Police discovered Forbes had taken his father's car to commit the robbery and then later changed vehicles in an attempt to avoid apprehension.

According to information from Murphy's office, it is anticipated that Forbes will receive a sentence between two and six years in a state correctional facility and may be permitted to enroll in the Shock incarceration program if determined eligible by the department of correctional services.

\Mr. Forbes may receive intensive treatment at one of New York State's Shock Incarceration Programs. If accepted, he will have round the clock monitoring in a state prison, where he will be working in a military boot camp like setting. Through hard work and intense therapy and treatment, we hope he will overcome his addiction, said Murphy in a statement. "If he succeeds, his prison time could be shortened ... regardless, he will be taken out of our community, held responsible for robbing the bank and perhaps get treatment if he is in fact addicted as he claims."

The Shock incarceration program is a six-month program of hard physical labor, academic education, drug treatment and personal counseling and allows successful graduates to be

released as much as 30 months early, according to information from Murphy's office.

Shock includes 675 hours of intensive alcohol and substance abuse treatment and group counseling, 12 hours per

week of academic classes, drill instruction, physical training and work crews.

New York's Shock incarceration program has been rated best in the U.S. by various national independent research groups since its inception in 1987, according to information from Murphy's office. Through July of 2009, the program graduated 36,453 inmates to parole supervision, age 16 to 39, who were convicted of non-violent crimes and were within three years of release.

Sentencing has been scheduled for Sept. 23.

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