Man, 73, Robs Bank So He Can Return to Jail: ‘I Have Nothing to Lose’

A 73-year-old ex-con robbed a Chicago-area bank of $4,178 in what is believed to be an intentional bid to be sent back to prison.

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In an intentional bid to land himself back in jail, a 73-year-old convicted bank-robber walked into a Harris Bank in the Chicago suburb of Niles, Ill. to commit an armed robbery.

According to a teller, Walter Unbehaun, of Rock Hill, S.C., came into the bank on Saturday morning and, after handing over demand note written on a Harris Bank transaction slip, announced out loud, “This is a hold up. I have nothing to lose.” Unbehaun then opened his jacket, the teller told the Chicago Tribune, revealing a gun tucked into his waistband. “I only have six months to live and have nothing to lose,” he reportedly added. “I don’t want to hurt you.”

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True to his word, no one was hurt. Unbehaun, who uses a cane to get around, walked away with $4,178 in cash and was tracked down by investigators the following day. When police confronted him, the Tribune reported, he immediately threw down his cane and said he knew they were there to arrest him.

Based on the court complaint, Unbehaun told investigators he “felt more comfortable in prison than out” having already spent much of his adult life in prison. He has earlier been arrested for a bank robbery in 1998, for which he served ten years.

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FBI agent Chad Piontek, who signed the official U.S. District Court complaint, said:

“He wanted to do something that would guarantee that he would spend the rest of his life in prison, and he knew that robbing a bank with a loaded gun would accomplish that.”

If convicted of armed robber, Unbehaun could face a prison sentence of 20 years.


What a waste. A whole life spent wasting his own life as well as public taxes when something else so different could have been. And he still hasn't learned. I guess I should feel mad, but it makes me disappointed in Americans that let the sorry end of life get the better of them. Like, if this was some horrible place where there is no freedom, no democracy and people are just swept along with the multitude and threatened by dictators I could find some kind of link, but for fear of facing society? Well, now he at least doesn't have to keep a dog for company (I don't have anything against dogs and their keepers, so don't scold me, dog lovers, OK?).