MOUNT CLEMENS (WWJ/AP) – A woman who used cans of spaghetti sauce to simulate a bomb when she robbed a Macomb County bank has been sentenced at least four years in prison.

Ophelia A. Neal was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty last month to bank robbery and explosives charges. She faced up to life in prison, but a judge ordered Neal serve up to 10 years behind bars.

Neal, a 53-year-old parole absconder, robbed a Fifth Third Bank branch on April 6 in Clinton Township.

Police say Neal told bank employees she had a bomb in her cloth bag and demanded money. They say she took an undisclosed amount of money and escaped in a car with a man at the wheel.

Investigators recognized Neal from surveillance images. A bomb squad later scanned the bag and found the alleged bomb was actually spaghetti sauce.

Neal has previous fraud, assault and marijuana convictions.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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