Man commits $1 bank robbery to get free health care in jail
A 59-year-old North Carolina man who doesn’t have a job or health insurance says he robbed a bank — stealing only $1 — because he wanted the free health care in jail.
Richard Verone told WCNC-TV in Charlotte, N.C., that he was motivated to rob the RBC Bank in nearby Gastonia on June 9 because he has two ruptured discs, a problem with his left foot and a growth on his chest. “He thought jail was the best place he could go for medical care and a roof over his head,” WCNC reported.
|“If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything,” says Richard Verone, who admits he robbed a North Carolina bank to get free health care in jail.|
Verone arrived at the bank in a taxi, pulled his luggage out of the trunk and walked into the bank, according to a report from the Gastonia Police Department. He handed a note to a teller demanding only $1. Verone says he wasn’t carrying a gun.
“I started to walk away from the teller, then I went back and said, ‘I’ll be sitting right over there in the chair waiting for the police,’” Verone told WCNC.
A WCNC reporter asked Verone why he was doing everything he could to get arrested.
“I wanted to make it known that this wasn’t for monetary reasons, but for medical reasons,” Verone told the TV station.
Verone says he’s receiving good medical care now, but the jail doctor accused him of manipulating the system. The bank robber acknowledges he is “manipulating the courts to get medical care,” but it was done out of necessity.
“If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything,” Verone told the Gaston Gazette.
Verone faces a criminal charge of larceny, rather than a more serious charge of armed robbery. He could serve up to one year in jail.
As of June 21, Verone remained in the Gaston County Jail. A court appearance is scheduled for June 28.