American woman, 78, arrested on charges of bank robbery

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A 78-year-old woman with two past bank robbery convictions was arrested again for a third heist in Missouri, police said.

Bonnie Gooch walked into Goppert Financial Bank and allegedly handed a note to the teller demanding thousands in cash.

She also left a note saying “Thank you sorry I didn’t mean to scare you” before driving off with the cash.

Ms Gooch now sits in jail with a bond amount of $25,000 (£20,129).

Wearing a black N95 mask, black sunglasses and plastic gloves, she entered the bank last Wednesday and slipped the teller a note that said “I need 13,000 small bills”, according to court documents obtained by the Kansas City Star.

Surveillance video shows Ms Gooch at one point banging on the counter, mandating a speedier delivery of the cash, prosecutors said, before leaving in her Buick Enclave with its handicap registration displayed.

Pleasant Hill Missouri Police Department officers responded to calls of a “robbery in progress” at around 15:20 local time (21:20 BST) and found Ms Gooch in her vehicle smelling strongly of alcohol, with cash strewn across the floor, prosecutors said.

Ms Gooch was arrested and charged with one count of stealing or attempting to steal from a financial institution.

“When officers first approached her, they were kind of confused … It’s a little old lady who steps out,” Pleasant Hill Police Chief Tommy Wright told the Kansas City Star. “We weren’t sure initially that we had the right person.”

However, this is not Ms Gooch’s first run in with the law.

She also has two other convictions. One for a robbery in California in 1977, and the other for a bank robbery in 2020, where she reportedly handed the teller a birthday card that had “this is a robbery” written into it.

Her probation for the 2020 robbery ended in November 2021.

Mr Wright said Ms Gooch had no “diagnosed” ailments, but due to her age, the department was trying to determine if any underlying health factors could have contributed to the incident.

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