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Ex-convict in wheelchair arrested on suspicion of bank robbery in San Diego

July 27, 2010 |  3:55 pm

A 72-year-old ex-convict has been arrested on suspicion of robbing a bank in downtown San Diego at gunpoint while sitting in a wheelchair, officials said.

Peter Barry Lawrence was in a wheelchair when he was arrested just blocks away from the Chase Bank where the holdup took place Monday. He told police that he is ready to go back to prison, where he would get medical care.

Lawrence has served two prison stretches for violent sex crimes, according to public records. If convicted, he could receive a life sentence as a "three-strike" offender.

The gun used in the bank robbery proved to be a BB gun.

Officials said Lawrence is not a suspect in the Geezer Bandit bank robberies in which an elderly-looking man has robbed 10 banks in San Diego County and one in Riverside County in the past year. Among other differences, the Geezer Bandit does not use a wheelchair.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego