You’ve probably heard about this one on social media or local news. A 73-year-old Boca Raton man was recently charged with bank robbery, but the details are even stranger than the man’s age. According to police, the 73-year-old asked for $1,100 and when the teller counted out and handed him $2,000, he told her that she gave him too much and handed back the $900 difference.
So the question then becomes: Was this a desperate attempt to recover a very specific amount of money or was the retired HVAC worker making some sort of mysterious play in a game no one quite understood but himself?
A Mysterious Game
At present, there is no indication why Sandy Hawkins needed $1,100. However, there is some indication that Hawkins expected and even wanted to be caught. His landlord told the press that Hawkins had lost his wife to cancer six years earlier and he had never been the same after that. When police arrested him after the robbery took place, Hawkins quietly surrendered himself to authorities telling them that he would “make it easy on them”.
His public defender told the press that Hawkins has no criminal history but otherwise declined to comment.
A Serious Crime
Hawkins will be charged with committing a robbery on a bank. It isn’t clear whether or not Hawkins actually had a gun on him at the time of the robbery, but he did tell the teller that he was carrying a weapon.
Interestingly, an individual can be charged with armed robbery or robbery with a firearm even if they don’t brandish the weapon or threaten its use during the robbery. A robber need only have the gun in their possession during the commission of the robbery. Robbery with a firearm is considered a first-degree felony and subject to some very harsh penalties in the State of Florida.
Florida Statute 775.87 outlines how the use of a firearm during the commission of a crime is to be used as an intensifier to the crime. In other words, the penalties are stiffer when a firearm is present during the commission of a crime. A judge is required by law to impose a minimum ten-year sentence on any defendant who had a firearm on them during the commission of a robbery. If that firearm was discharged during the robbery, a judge must impose a minimum sentence of 20 years. If someone was injured or killed with a firearm, a judge must impose a mandatory minimum of 25 years and the individual will also be charged with the murder or injury they caused the other person.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
The Skier Law Firm, P.A. represents defendants in criminal cases against the State of Florida, the federal government or local municipalities. If you’ve been charged with a crime, call our West Palm Beach criminal attorneys today and we can begin working on your defense immediately.