Speed Reads

‘I didn’t mean to scare you’

78-year-old faces bank robbery charges for the 3rd time

A 78-year-old woman is facing bank robbery charges after she allegedly pulled off a heist in Missouri, where authorities say she handed the teller a note that ended with "I didn't mean to scare you," The Associated Press reports. Authorities said this would be the woman's third time facing similar charges, as she has two past convictions for robbing banks. 

Bonnie Gooch is being held on a $25,000 bond after she was charged with "one count of stealing or attempting to steal from a financial institution" after targeting a bank in Pleasant Hill, The Kansas City Star reports. She was previously convicted of  "robbing a California bank in 1977 and one in the Kansas City suburb of Lee's Summit in 2020," AP adds — her probation for the second conviction ended in November 2021. 

Witnesses report that Gooch, "dressed all in gray, with plastic gloves, a black N95 mask, and black sunglasses", the Star recounts,  approached the teller at the counter and passed them a note that said in part, "... is a robbery I need 13,000 small bills … thank you sorry I didn't mean to scare you," per documents filed in Cass County Circuit Court. She was also captured on surveillance video banging on the counter, asking the teller to hurry, prosecutors said. "The woman allegedly advised the teller not to count the money and 'just give it to her,'" the Star adds. 

Officers located the suspect less than 2 miles away in the parking lot of an animal clinic. She smelled strongly of alcohol, prosecutors alleged, and police found a large amount of cash scattered around the car's floorboard.  "It's just sad," Pleasant Hill Police Chief Tommy Wright told the Star, adding that the suspect had no "diagnosed" issues. Wright also called the case "unusual," saying he'd never encountered a bank robbery suspect Gooch's age in his 30 years of police work.