One of two men who committed a series of unusual elevator robberies this year has been sentenced to eight to 24 years in prison.

Gregory A. Garner, 23, of 5207 14th St. NW, was sentenced Wednesday by D.C. Superior Court Judge Eugene N. Hamilton. Garner pleaded guilty in July to committing three elevator robberies in the District. He still faces prosecution for several similar robberies in Maryland and Virginia.

Garner's partner, Anthony J. Reed, 20, of 7911 Riggs Rd., Adelphi, also pleaded guilty in July to three D.C. robberies but has not yet been sentenced.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John McDermott said Reed got the idea for the unusual robberies, more than a dozen of which were committed, after watching an episode of the television spy series "Mission Impossible."

After Reed obtained keys to an elevator, he and Garner would clamber onto its roof and wait until the elevator contained several passengers, McDermott said. Then the robbers would stop the elevator between floors and order the passengers to pass their valuables and money through the trap door in the roof.

Reed and Garner would then take the elevator up to where they could escape and leave the passengers between floors.

The men were eventually caught when an elevator maintenance man spotted them last February atop an elevator in a Northwest Washington building.