Old Man Robs Bank So He Can Go Back to Prison: FBI

Walter Unbehaun told investigators he felt more comfortable on the inside

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Feb 13, 2013 2:15 PM CST

(Newser) – After spending most of his adult life behind bars, 73-year-old Walter Unbehaun was released in 2011—but recently decided to rob another bank in hopes of going back. He felt more comfortable in prison, court documents allege, and wanted to spend his final years there. So the balding, gray-haired man leaned on a cane as he walked into a bank in suburban Chicago over the weekend and used a novel stickup line: He had just six months to live, so he had nothing left to lose. The South Carolina man also allegedly lifted his coat to show the teller a silver revolver shoved into his waistband, and investigators say he walked out of the Harris Bank on Saturday with $4,178 in his pockets.

He wore no disguises, so law enforcement quickly tracked him down using surveillance-camera photos. When authorities stopped him on Sunday outside a motel room where he was staying, he immediately threw down his cane and surrendered, saying he knew they were there because he robbed a bank the day before. Unbehaun's most recent stint behind bars ended in 2011, when he was released after serving 10 years for a 1998 bank robbery. His Illinois record alone includes multiple other felonies dating back decades. So far, he's gotten his wish: At an initial court appearance Monday, he was ordered to remain in jail pending further court procedures, and he faces up to 20 years behind bars.

This Feb. 9 surveillance photo provided by the FBI shows 73-year-old Walter Unbehaun, an ex-convict from Rock Hill., SC, during a bank robbery in Niles, Ill.
This Feb. 9 surveillance photo provided by the FBI shows 73-year-old Walter Unbehaun, an ex-convict from Rock Hill., SC, during a bank robbery in Niles, Ill.   ((AP Photo/FBI))
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