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July 17, 2013

Man Robs Bank, Then Waits Patiently for Police to Arrive… But did he Really Break the law?

by Sam Ranard

If you rob a bank on purpose and immediately tun yourself in, what are you guilty of? According to Alabama law, you are guilty of first-degree robbery and first-degree theft. However, Jacksonvile, Florida attorney T.C. Roberts disagrees and believes the charges should be dropped.

After injuring his leg, Alabama resident Rickie Gardner was in fear of losing his job and wanted to avoid living on the streets. To Rickie, the best option for avoiding homelessness was to live in a place with a bed, free rent, free cable, A/C and  three free meals a day. For Rickie that place was jail. He decided that robbing a bank would be the quickest way to get to jail. So Rickie robbed a bank with a note that said, “I have a weapon, give me all of your money.”

“He told the teller to put the money in a bag,” ABC reports, “Then he walked out of the bank with more than $4,000. He got in his car, put the bag on the passenger seat, got out and locked the car. He strolled over to the bench, sat down and waited on police.”
“He was adamant his whole deal was he’d have a place to live and a place to eat.” Police Chief Lyndon McWhorter said Tuesday.

Attorney T.C. Roberts disagrees, “This man may not get his room and board for long as these charges should be dropped.” Roberts says, “As sad as this story may be, this man should not be charged with a crime.  Theft and robbery are specific intent crimes that require the perpetrator to intend to take and carry away the items (or money in this case) with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the items.   Here, this man intended to take and carry away the cash, however, his actions indicate that he did not intend to permanently deprive the bank of the money.  In fact, he safeguarded the money in his locked car until the police arrived to take him into custody.”

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