Over the past two decades, instances of bank crime have dropped from over 7,000 recorded offenses in 2003 to fewer than 2,000 in 2021, according to FBI data.
Improved surveillance and security could be contributed to the decline, prompting offenders to pursue cybercrime instead of an in-person heist. However, some still prefer the old-fashioned route.
Last week, Bonnie Gooch, 78, was arrested in Pleasant Hill, Missouri for carrying out a bank heist. The almost octogenarian allegedly passed a note to a teller demanding “13,000 small bills” and also wrote “sorry I didn’t mean to scare you,” The Kansas City Star reported.
It’s Gooch’s third arrest for bank robbery to date. Her first conviction was in 1977 for robbing a California bank, and she faced a second conviction in 2020 for robbing a bank in a Kansas City suburb.
Gooch was caught by police later that same day at the Pleasant Hill Animal Clinic (less than two miles away from the incident). She allegedly smelled of alcohol and had a large amount of cash scattered across her car’s floorboard.
Police told The Kansas City Star that Gooch had no “diagnosed” ailments, but they are working to discern whether any underlying health factors may have contributed to the incident, adding that “it’s just sad.”
“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 outlet. “We weren’t sure initially that we had the right person.”
Gooch remains in Cass County Jail with a bond set at $25,000. There is no attorney is listed according to online court documents, the AP reported.
Although Gooch’s move to rob a bank with a note passed to the teller may seem old school, about 77% of bank crimes happened directly at the counter in 2021, according to data from the FBI.