No prison time for heartbroken 74-year-old bank robber

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. —A 74-year-old bank robber, still mourning his dead wife, was spared jail time Friday morning.

Sandy Hawkins could essentially have his jail record dismissed and the case dropped if he abides by rules for 12 months.

On Nov. 18, Hawkins walked into a Wells Fargo in West Boca and demanded cash. For reasons that he is unsure of, he specifically asked for $1,100. When the teller counted past $2,000, he scolded the teller saying that was too much and the start counting the cash over.

Hawkins left the bank with a bag of cash. While cutting through some hedges at the strip mall, the bag became ensnared in a bush. Hawkins kept walking, leaving his loot behind.

Hawkins was sitting outside a West Boca home the following day when police rolled up. They asked if he would come down to the station to talk. He said yes.

There, he said he wanted to make it easy on them so he pulled out the hold up note, a note he forgot to give the teller: “Give me $1,100. Now. No Alarms. Hope to get caught.”

Hawkins spent seven days in jail in Palm Beach County before being released to house arrest at a facility in Delray Beach.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel sat down with Hawkins in December. He tearfully explained that he had no clear explanation for his crime other than perhaps it was a cry for help.

Hawkins’ life turned upside down when his wife died in the fall of 2017. He walked out of his rental home because the memories were too much. He left his job as an air conditioning repairman and spent the summer months sleeping in his car at a Walmart. Then his car got repossessed.

To this day, Hawkins still cries himself to sleep over the loss of the love of his life. Linda Hawkins died unexpectedly of blood cancer, just two days after her diagnosis.

Sandy Hawkins has since been diagnosed with rectal and prostate cancer. He is not treating it. He said he’s ready to die.

He said marrying Linda was the best decision he ever made and robbing a bank was his worst decision.

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