“Give me $1,100 now,” the stickup note said.
The teller counted out $2,000.
No, said the white-haired, white-bearded bandit, clad in a blue, short-sleeve T-shirt that said “Trump” and “Make America Great Again.” Just $1,100.
So by the standards of bank robbers, Sandy Hawkins wasn’t all that greedy Monday at the Wells Fargo bank branch west of Boca Raton, Florida. It mattered little to law enforcement. Authorities are charging the 73-year-old man with robbery.
It was the retired air-conditioning worker’s status as a regular at a nearby sports bar that did him in, his arrest report said. Once arrested, Hawkins told Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office investigators, “I will make this easy.”
He pulled from his pocket a tattered bank deposit slip, the report said. Handwritten on the back: “Give me $1,100 now. No alarms. Hope to get caught.”
Hawkins’ life changed in September 2013 when Linda, his wife since 1997, died of cancer at 70, former landlord Scott Vail said Wednesday.
“I knew it was pretty devastating,” Scott Vail said. “He was just an affable kind of person. He probably reached some kind of breaking point.”
Vail said the couple had rented a home — the one where he’d be arrested — for about a decade.
Hawkins worked for years in the air-conditioning industry and he and his wife were “really good tenants,” Vail said.
He said he hasn’t spoken to Hawkins since he sold the house at about the time Linda died, and the new owner agreed to continue to rent it to Sandy.
Hawkins was booked Tuesday afternoon at the Palm Beach County Jail, charged with robbery without a weapon. On Wednesday, Circuit Judge Ted Booras set bond at $50,000.
Assistant Public Defender Paul Caruso said the Detroit native was retired and had no criminal history but did not elaborate. Palm Beach County Court records show no previous arrests.
A call to a telephone number listed for Hawkins in the report was not returned Wednesday.
According to the report, at about midday Monday, a man wearing dark sunglasses approached a teller at the branch in the Sandalfoot neighborhood, along State Road 7 and just north of the Broward County line.
The teller said the robber asked for $1,100, but when the teller asked for his debit card, he said, “This is a robbery. I have a weapon.” He said the robber placed his right hand into his waistband.
The teller said he counted out $2,000, but the robber stressed he just wanted $1,100. The teller slid over $1,100, in 11 $100 bills.
On Tuesday, the report said, deputies collected security-camera video both inside the bank and from surrounding businesses. At the Turn 3 sports bar, in the same strip mall, the bar’s manager Glen Huff Jr. told deputies, “That is Sandy.”
The manager’s father also identified Hawkins and gave his home address, in a neighborhood just behind the strip center.
A half hour later, deputies arrested Hawkins at his home, the report said. It said Hawkins later confirmed that was him in the security photos.
There’s nothing in the report to suggest a motive for the robbery or for Hawkins allegedly wanting to be caught.
Glen Huff Jr. said Sandy Hawkins had been a regular at Turn 3 when he and his father bought the bar in December, but Hawkins stopped coming after a couple of months and Huff has not seen him since. Huff said he never met Linda Hawkins but knew she had died.
Staff photographer Lannis Waters contributed to this story.