Sandra Bathke, 70, Robs Bank, Feared Losing Apartment

PHOTO A 70-year-old is under arrest in Minnesota after allegedly holding up a bank.
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A 70-year-old woman who allegedly warned a Minnesota bank teller she had a gun and wanted cash, left with nearly $4,000, but she and her unsuspecting getaway driver didn't get far.

Sandra Bathke, of Janes, Minn., was followed by a bank employee until police caught up to them and arrested Bathke, authorities said.

"An elderly woman entered the bank and approached a bank teller saying that she wanted money and that she had gun," said a statement released by Tom Doherty, the LeSueur County Sheriff. "An undisclosed amount of money was given by the teller and the suspect exited the bank."

Doherty told the paper that Bathke "had some ailments and was 'down on her luck, trying to stay in her apartment.'"

The heist occurred Wednesday when Bathke recruited Luke Weimart, 26, to drive her to the Elysian Bank so she could make a withdrawal to pay her rent, police said.

Weimart's mother is Bathke's landlord and he thought he was doing Bathke a favor. He didn't realized that when she came out of the bank he unwittingly became a getaway driver, according to police.

Doherty said statements taken from Bathke indicated that she was acting alone in the robbery and was using Weimert for a ride. Bathke asked Weimert to drive her to the bank "where she was going to allegedly make a bank withdrawal to pay her apartment rent," said Doherty.

"The driver reportedly had no knowledge of her intent to commit the bank robbery," he added.

Doherty declined to specify the amount of money Bathke took during the heist, but the Minnesota Star Tribune reports that she managed to get away with nearly $4,000.

Despite her threats, authorities found no gun in Bathke's purse, but did find a small hammer.

Weimert was arrested on an unrelated DWI warrant later released.

Attempts to reach Weimert's home were unsuccessful.

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