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78-Year-Old Missouri Bank Robber Handed Teller Note Apologizing For 'Scaring' Them

Bonnie Gooch was charged last week for robbing Goppert Financial Bank on April 5.

mugshot of Bonnie Gooch
Pleasant Hill Police Department

A 78-year-old woman named Bonnie Gooch allegedly entered Goppert Financial Bank in Pleasant Hill, Missouri on April 5 and handed the teller a note.

The note read:

"I need 13,000 small bills."

She was dressed all in gray with a black N-95 mask, black sunglasses and plastic gloves on her hands when she approached the bank counter, in an apparent attempt to conceal her identity.

The Kansas City Star reported surveillance footage then captured Gooch banging on the counter and insisting the teller hurry up and give her the money. She also allegedly told the teller not to bother counting the money and to just give it to her.

Prosecutors said Gooch slipped a second note to the teller mid-robbery that said:

"Thank you sorry I didn't mean to scare you."

After taking the money, the suspect then left in a gray Buick Enclave with a Disabled Placard with a visible registration number. This allowed police to locate the vehicle and stop Gooch in the parking lot of a veterinary clinic later in the day.

Police reported the vehicle smelled strongly of alcohol and Gooch appeared heavily intoxicated.

They found $1,613 in small bills on the floor of the vehicle. According to KSHB, they also found a black N-95 mask, plastic gloves and a note that read:

"Is is a robbery I need 13,000 small bills no! dye pack! 5 @10$bills no uppotton thank you sorry I didn’t mean to scare you."

She reportedly told the FBI she didn't remember any of what had happened.

Gooch was arrested and charged with one count of stealing or attempted stealing from a Financial Institution. She remains in Cass County Jail with bail set at $25,000.

She is scheduled to appear in court on May 25.

You can view News Nation's coverage of Gooch's arrest below:

This wasn't Gooch's first arrest, though, and not even her first for bank robbery.

She was convicted of bank robbery twice before: once in California in 1977 and once in 2020 for robbing another bank in the Kansas City, Missouri area.

During the 2020 robbery, Gooch's son reportedly called the police and told them his mother was "off her rocker." He said she was angry and said she was going to rob a bank.

About 30 minutes after Gooch's son called police, they responded to a robbery at Bank of the West in Lee's Summit, Missouri, where a teller reported that a woman matching Gooch's description had entered the bank and handed her what looked like a blank birthday card with a note that read "this is a robbery," and requested $3000 in $50s and $20s.

Gooch was located shortly after the robbery and arrested without further incident.

The details of Gooch's arrest in 1977 are not readily available online.

Pleasant Hill Police Chief Tommy Wright said that Gooch does not have any diagnosed health issues but, because of her age, they are working to determine if any health issues might have contributed to her behavior.

He told the Kansas City Star:

"We’re working with agencies to figure out what the next steps are. It's just sad."

He also said officers were initially confused about whether they were stopping the right person.

"When officers first approached her, they were kind of confused ... It’s a little old lady who steps out. We weren’t sure initially that we had the right person."

The Star also reported court documents indicate Gooch has been sued by several financial institutions in the past few years, so there is likely more to the story than there initially appears to be.