June 20, 2011— -- A 59-year-old man has been jailed in Gastonia, N.C., on charges of larceny after allegedly robbing an RBC Bank for $1 so he could get health care in prison. Richard James Verone handed a female teller a note demanding the money and claiming that he had a gun, according to the police report.
He then sat down and waited for police to arrive. "… I say, 'I'll be sitting right over here, on the chair, waiting for the police,'" Verone told reporters, recalling the June 9 robbery in an interview from Gaston County Jail.
And wait for the police, he did.
"He's sitting on the sofa as you walk in the front door," the bank teller said in a 911 call.
Police arrested Verone where he sat. He was unarmed.
Verone said he asked for $1 to show that his motives were medical, not monetary, according to news reports. With a growth in his chest, two ruptured disks and no job, Verone hoped a three-year stint in prison would afford him the health care he needed.
"I'm sort of a logical person and that was my logic, what I came up with," Verone told reporters. "If it is called manipulation, then out of necessity because I need medical care, then I guess I am manipulating the courts to get medical care."
But the charge of larceny, not armed robbery, is unlikely to keep Verone behind bars for more than 12 months. He is being held in Gaston County Jail on a $2,000 bond, according to a spokesman for the jail, and is scheduled to appear in court June 28.