Police: Senior Robbed Bank Because He Wanted Prison Sentence
The motivation for staging a bank robbery might vary greatly from one criminal to the next, but police in Utah say a 65-year-old suspect’s reason for entering a Wells Fargo branch and demanding $1 was particularly unusual.
According to authorities, Donald Santacroce wanted to land himself in federal prison and hatched a plan he believed would help him achieve his goal.
He allegedly walked up to a teller and handed over a polite note that read: “Please pardon me for doing this but this is a robbery. Please give me $1. Thank you.”
After employees gave him the dollar, they reportedly asked him to leave. Instead, he allegedly had another request.
Investigators say Santacroce asked the teller to call the police and, while he was waiting, mentioned that employees were fortunate that he was not armed since officers were so slow to respond to the scene.
As an affidavit filed in the case asserts: “At this point the branch manager said she ushered all of her employees into a back room for their safety where she locked the doors.”
When Salt Lake Police Department officers arrived, they took Santacroce into custody and booked him into the county jail on suspicion of robbery. It was not his first recent run-in with the law.
State police reportedly arrested him last week on suspicion of driving under the influence, careless driving, and driving with a suspended Missouri license.
It was unclear from available reports why Santacroce was apparently so adamant about ending up in federal prison, but an arrest report indicated that he expressed a desire to keep trying if the bank robbery did not result in the sentence he sought.
“Donald said he had done this because he wanted to get arrested and go to federal prison,” police wrote. “Donald stated that if he gets out of jail, he will rob another bank and ask for more money next time trying to get the desired result of going to federal prison.”
Santacroce is not the first suspect who allegedly robbed a bank with the intention of ending up in prison.
More than a decade ago, 59-year-old Richard James Verone similarly demanded $1 from a bank in North Carolina with the intention of landing behind bars where he could receive healthcare he could not afford.
“I’m sort of a logical person and that was my logic, what I came up with,” he said. “If it is called manipulation, then out of necessity because I need medical care, then I guess I am manipulating the courts to get medical care.”