Oddly Enough

Arrested robber, 73, says he was paying off mortgage

TAMPA, Florida (Reuters) - A 73-year-old Florida man who was arrested for robbing three banks -- unarmed and taking $600 in each heist -- said he needed the money to pay his home mortgage, police said on Friday.

James Bruce of Tampa was arrested on Thursday. He admitted robbing the banks but said he planned to pay back the money, Tampa Police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said.

“He called it a repayable loan,” she added.

Bruce was unarmed in each of the three robberies. At all three banks, he handed a note to a teller which said he was carrying out a robbery and demanded six $100 bills.

Police said they believed the tellers gave up the money because it was bank policy not to have staff resist robbers in case they were armed. The robberies took place on January 15, February 1 and February 10 in Tampa.

Bruce owns a garden store in Tampa, where he sells pots.