A 70-year-old man charged with robbing a Kansas City, Kan., bank said he did it because he preferred a jail cell over living with his wife.
According to court documents, Ripple handed a teller a note that read, “I have a gun, give me money.”
After the teller handed him nearly $3,000 in cash, Mr Ripple waited in the lobby for police to arrive.
When a bank security guard approached him, Ripple told the guard, “I’m the guy you’re looking for.”
The guard took the money from Ripple and held him until police arrived, which wasn’t long, because Kansas City, Kan., police headquarters is on the same block.
When he was questioned later by investigators, Ripple told him that he and his wife had argued and he “no longer wanted to be in that situation.”
“Ripple wrote out his demand note in front of his wife … and told her he’d rather be in jail than at home."
Mr Ripple has been sentenced to six months house arrest as his punishment due to his mental health.
Mr Ripple had multiple bypass heart surgery in 2015 and suffered from depression that, according to lawyers, went undiagnosed.
Prior to the robbery, he lived a normal, law-abiding life as a husband and stepfather to four children. His public defender called the robbery a “cry for help”.
At the sentencing trial Mr Ripple said he had sought medical help for his mental health and said he “feels like his old self”.
The vice president of the bank and the teller both supported a request for leniency for Mr Ripple given his mental health state. It is incredibly rare for someone who commits a bank robbery not to be sentenced to prison and Mr Ripple’s sentence could have faced up to 37 months per local law.
He will also serve three years of supervised probation and must do 50 hours of community service. Mr Ripple was ordered to pay $227.27 to the bank, which represents the billable hours for bank employees sent home on the day of robbery. He is also required to give $100 to a crime victims fund.