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Elderly bank robbery suspect in San Diego says mortgage drove him to crime


A 69-year-old man with severe medical problems has apologized for robbing a San Diego bank and says he needed money to pay his mortgage to prevent him and his 73-year-old wife from becoming homeless.

In a jailhouse interview with NBC 7/39, Michael Casey Wilson said he needed $50,000 to pay off a 17% mortgage when he walked into the Bank of America branch in the City Heights neighborhood on Monday.

Wilson told a teller he would detonate a bomb in a briefcase unless she handed over money, authorities said. He walked out with more than $100,000 but was arrested a few blocks away on the porch of a house, apparently exhausted.

"I've never done a bad thing in my life," Wilson told a television reporter. "But you get desperate; I guess you throw all that ... out the window."

Wilson, 5 feet 8 and 250 pounds, walks with a cane. His attorney said in a brief appearance in court that Wilson suffers from "major" ailments. Wilson listed those for the TV station as severe arthritis, sleep apnea, heart problems and an emotional issue.

Wilson pleaded not guilty to three charges Thursday in San Diego County Superior Court. He remains in jail on $50,000 bail. No explosive was found in the briefcase.

Wilson said his scheme was to kidnap the bank manager, take a cab to the San Diego airport, drop the manager there and then take a cab to his home. He said he had considered what would happen if he got caught.

"It was 50-50," he told NBC 7/39. "Well, if I get caught, I get caught. I'm dying anyway, so what difference does it make?"

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Bank robbery suspect Michael Casey Wilson. Credit: NBC SanDiego

Comments () | Archives (7)

That's unfortunate... I partially don't blame the poor man since these tough times have taken a toll on even those who are the most civilized!

should have thought of that a long time ago, before commiting a crime, you do the crime, you do the time. you dont STEAL other people money, i dont care if your mortage is WAAAY UP!! You bought a house you couldnt afford, i dont care how old you are. know your limitation. seriously thought, no need to go rob a bank, its a good way to get into jail and get housing that way. funny though. i seen this waaay to often people borrow money because they think they are not liable of paying it back. wake up people.

What bank would charge 17% for a secured home loan ? Many, it seems. --- About time we got greedy, scheming bankers to stop conniving another way to screw the public, and provide honest service. --- 10 days to post a deposit = BS.

Last week, it was some old guy with an oxygen mask whose breathing was even worse. These guys who are overweight or sick, can't breathe, with walkers, are a pathetic sight.

It's NOT OK, since the bank tellers and others involved wouldn't be amused, taking someone hostage even if you intend to let them go is a crime just the same.

But underscores how wrong and stupid it was for the Government, both Bush and the supposedly more sympathic Obama admnistration, to throw trillions of dollars at the banks which got us into this mess (by loaning money to crooks and ineligibles, including illegals) in the first place, only to have them tighten credit on us and raise the rates of GOOD customers.

None of that money found its way into reducing the burdens of those losing their homes or many of us struggling to pay our mortgages and soaring utility bills, higher and higher bond fees, etc.

The banks should be required to work with their customers who have been paying our bills for years and are on hard times. Banks are "back to business as usual" with executives getting rich. If they take the house of someone like this, it sits vacant somewhere until sold while the ownes are on the street. That's a crime.

Well they gave billions to the banks nothing to the people, and raised taxes. I can understand why he may have been this desperate. Now they have all the money they don't like to loan it out to people like this so I see his problem. Too bad a law abiding citizen

This eldlerly man is in BIGGER trouble now and jail is his home for awhile.

I think it is very wrong for the banks to refuse to grand fixed rate loans to home owners.(17% is likely double his original terms



This eldlerly man is in BIGGER trouble and jail is home for now.

I think it is very wrong for these banks to refuse granting fixed rate mortgage loans to the home owners.(17% is likely double his original terms.)

I wonder what the judge will do with him?

california you rob to be robbed that is the question!


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