Bank Robber Wants $1 and Health Care

Bank robbery
Bank robbery

If you've ever watched a movie or TV show featuring a bank heist, you know the basic elements: There's the criminal planning for a big score that will set him up for life. There's the perfect plan, usually involving a tunnel into the vault and a hostage situation, or the quieter option of a demand note. And there's always a getaway vehicle. From this point on, it's a battle of chance and heroism.

Will the bank robber get what he wants, or will the good guys step in and foil the plan?

James Richard Verone concocted a plot that may have, in its individual elements, seemed like a bust. The Gaston, N.C., man went into the bank with a simple demand note. He wasn't really all that bad of a guy, and his greed was entirely insufficient for a profiler to ever peg him as a criminal mastermind; in fact, he had tried to make ends meet after he got laid off from his job as a Coca-Cola deliveryman by working part time in a convenience store. On the morning of the crime, he showered and ironed his shirt. And for once, the bank robber's interests and those of the good guys were aligned.

Here's the thing: His getaway vehicle was a cop car, and his sunny retirement locale was in fact the Gaston County Jail and the medical care he desperately needed. His demand note asked for $1 and medical attention; he told the teller he'd wait for the police in one of those comfy chairs where other customers wait to apply for a bank loan or to open a new account.