WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A 74-year-old Florida man whose halfhearted attempt at bank robbery was caused by depression after his wife’s death will not spend any time in jail, it was announced Friday.
Sandy Hawkins reached an agreement with Palm Beach County prosecutors where he will spend a year living at The Lord’s Place, a nonreligious residence for the homeless. If he stays out of trouble, the bank robbery charge will be dropped.
“I will happily sign this,” Circuit Judge Jeffrey Gillen said, according to The Palm Beach Post.
Hawkins, unarmed, walked into a Wells Fargo branch in Boca Raton on Nov. 18 and demanded $1,100 from the teller. When she counted out $2,000, he told her it was too much and had her count out the right amount. He says he doesn’t know why he asked for that amount.
He then left the bank and the moneybag got caught in some bushes, so he left it. It was never recovered.
“It was my way of, basically, a cry for help,” Hawkins said.
When police confronted him the next day, he told them he’d “make it easy” and pulled out a bank deposit slip with a note on the back: “Give me $1,100 now. No alarms. Hope to get caught.”
Hawkins told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that his life turned upside down in 2017 when his wife died suddenly, two days after she was diagnosed with cancer. Living in their rented home was too much emotionally, so he took to living in his car and gave up his job as an air conditioner repairman.
After his car got repossessed, he robbed the bank.
He told the Sun Sentinel he has cancer and has no plans to treat it.
A previous version of this story incorrectly reported that The Lord’s Place is a Christian residence for the homeless.