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Female Bank Robber Finds Freedom for Her Soul

Bad decisions bring serious consequences for Dana, but redemption remains just one prayer away. Read Transcript


THE LARGEST AMOUNT I EVER

STOLE WAS $44,000.

ALL OF THE MONEY IN THE

BAG.

GO!

Reporter: BY 24 YEARS

OLD, DANA BRYANT WAS A BANK

ROBBER, A METH ADDICT, AND

ONE OF THE MOST-WANTED

CRIMINALS IN NORTHERN

CALIFORNIA.

I KNEW IF I GOT CAUGHT, I

WOULD BE GOING AWAY TO

PRISON FOR A VERY LONG

TIME.

I DIDN'T WANT TO GET CAUGHT

AND I DIDN'T WANT TO LIVE.

Reporter: RAISED IN A

MIDDLE CLASS HOME, DANA SAID

SHE FELT WORTHLESS BECAUSE

SHE NEVER FELT SHE COULD

MEASURE UP TO HER MOTHER'S

EXPECTATIONS.

IN HIGH SCHOOL, SHE FOUND

THAT PARTYING HELPED HER

COPE.

I BECAME THE ONE THAT

DRANK THE MOST AT A PARTY.

I WAS THE ONE THAT MADE A

FOOL OUT OF MYSELF MORE THAN

MOST.

I EVENTUALLY WAS THE ONE

THAT WAS GOING HOME WITH

SOMEONE ELSE.

Reporter: AFTER HIGH

SCHOOL, DANA MET A MAN SHE

THOUGHT WOULD FILL EVERY

VOID SHE HAD.

SOON SHE DISCOVERED THE LOVE

OF HER LIFE HAD A VIOLENT

TEMPER.

HE SLAMMED ME AGAINST THE

WALL, CHOKED ME UNTIL I

NEARLY PASSED OUT.

Reporter: DANA ENDURED

PHYSICAL AND MENTAL ABUSE

FOR THREE YEARS.

SHE GREW ACCUSTO ACCUSTOMED

TO HIDING THE BRUISES ON HER

FACE.

HER FRIENDS BEGGED HER TO

LEAVE.

STILL, DANA STAYED.

I FELT UGLY.

I DIDN'T FEEL WORTH

ANYTHING.

AND SO HE WOULD TELL ME WHAT

I WANTED TO HEAR.

SO I BECAME ADDICTED TO JUST

HIM MAKING ME FEEL BETTER

ABOUT MYSELF.

Reporter: EVENTUALLY

DANA HAD A CHILD WITH HER

BOYFRIEND, BUT SOON

AFTERWARD, SHE DEVELOPED

ANOTHER ADDICTION, TO METH.

UNABLE TO LOOK AFTER HER

CHILD, DANA PUT HER DAUGHTER

IN HER MOTHER'S CARE.

BY NOW SHE HAD LOST HER JOB

AND HAD NO MONEY.

THAT'S WHEN DANA STARTED

ROBBING BANKS.

SHE USED A FAKE GUN, AND

EACH TIME SHE PLAYED THE

VICTIM UNTIL THE TELLERS

SAID SOMEONE ELSE WAS

FORCING HER TO ROB THEM.

I WALKED IN, PUT THE GUN

TO THE WOMAN, AND TOOK THE

MONEY.

AND I REMEMBER APOLOGIZING

ON MY WAY OUT.

GO, GO!

Reporter: THEN,

EMBOLDENED BY METH, SHE LEFT

HER BOYFRIEND FOR GOOD.

SHE ALSO HAD BECOME AN

HABITUAL GAMBLERS.

HABITUAL GAMBLER.

AND SHE STARTED TO HOLD UP

BANKS.

I STARTED TO SEE I COULD

GET KILLED BY THE POLICE.

AND SO IT DIDN'T MATTER

ANYMORE.

ALTHOUGH I TRIED TO GET

AWAY, YOU KNOW, IT IS THAT

SURVIVAL TO RUN, BUT I

REALLY DIDN'T CARE IF THEY

KILLED ME OR NOT.

Reporter: IN ONE YEAR'S

TIME, SHE HIT NINE FINANCIAL

INSTITUTIONS, AND THE POLICE

AND THE F.B.I. WERE LOOKING

FOR HER.

DANA WAS ABOUT TO MAKE HER

10th HIT WHEN A BANK

EMPLOYEE RECOGNIZED HER AND

CALLED THE POLICE.

ALL OF THE POLICE HAD

SURROUNDED ME.

I REMEMBER GETTING IN THE

BACK OF THE CAR CUFFED, AND

BEING GRATEFUL.

I HAD A COGNITIVE THOUGHT

THAT FINALLY IT WAS OVER.

AND I DIDN'T CARE THAT I WAS

GOING TO PRISON.

Reporter: DANA WAS

CHARGED WITH NINE COUNTS OF

BANK ROBBERY AND POSSESSION

OF A WEAPON.

SHE FACED 25 YEARS IN A

WOMEN'S FEDERAL PRISON.

THEN ON SENTENCING DAY, THE

JUDGE CALLED HER FORWARD.

HE SAID IS VERY BAD THING

HAPPENED TO A GOOD GIRL.

AND HE SAID, I'M GOING TO

GIVE YOU A CHANCE.

HE LOOKED ME IN THE EYE.

HE SAID, I'M GOING TO SEND

YOU TO A PROGRAM.

I THINK YOU NEED HELP.

AND BECAUSE OF THAT, I ONLY

GOT A FIVE-YEAR SENTENCE.

Reporter: AFTER SHE

WENT TO A COURT-ORDERED

REHAB PROGRAM, SHE STARTED

SERVING HER SENTENCE.

DANA WENT TO A CHAPEL

SERVICE WHERE SHE FINALLY

REALIZED SHE NEEDED GOD TO

RESCUE HER.

I FELT SCARED AT SERVICE

BECAUSE SOME WOMEN WERE

RAISING THEIR HANDS AND

WORSHIPPING GOD IN A WAY

THAT I WASN'T USED TO.

SO IT WAS FOREIGN TO ME, BUT

IT MADE ME FEEL ALIVE.

AND I COULD SEE THE FREEDOM

ON THEIR FACES.

AND I RAN TO MY ROOM AND

DROPPED TO MY KNEES.

AND ASKED THEM TO SAVE ME.

AND I SAID I WAS SORRY FOR

EVERYTHING THAT I DID.

AND THAT I COULDN'T MAKE IT

THROUGH THIS WITHOUT HIM.

THAT I WAS GOING TO DIE IF

HE DIDN'T SAVE ME.

I REMEMBER EVERYTHING IN MY

LIFE CHANGED.

I WAS FREE.

I WAS FREE.

Reporter: DANA ASKED

GOD TO FORGIVE HER FOR ALL

OF THE THINGS THAT SHE HAD

DONE.

BECAUSE I WAS SORRY.

I WAS WRONG.

I HURT PEOPLE.

Reporter: DANA SERVED

OUT HER SENTENCE, AND SAYS

DURING THAT TIME, GOD TOOK

AWAY HER ADDICTION TO METH

AND GAMBLING.

AFTER HER RELEASE, SHE

MARRIED A CHRISTIAN MAN AND

THEY'RE RAISING HER DAUGHTER

AND TWO OTHER CHILDREN.

SHE REACHED OUT THROUGH

THEIR MINISTRY CALLED

"CROSSING THE JORDAN."

DANA SHARES WITH OTHERS THAT

GOD IS TRULY A GOD OF A

SECOND CHANCE.

JESUS CAN HEAL THE INNER

PARTS OF YOUR BEING.

HE CAN MAKE EVERYTHING NEW.

HE CAN RESTORE ALL THAT WAS

LOST.

AND HE CAN HEAL THAT PAIN.

HE REALLY CAN MAKE IT ALL

NEW.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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