by Alexandra Seltzer
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
January 22, 2014
A 73-year-old man who wore black underwear over his face as he robbed a St. Lucie County Jail bank on Wednesday, told police that he committed the crime because he was on a fixed income and gambled away his money on horses and Texas Hold ‘em.
John A. Dougherty of Fort Pierce is in the St. Lucie County Jail on Wednesday after investigators say he admitted to the crime in which he used a loaded shotgun.
St. Lucie County Sheriff’s deputies say Dougherty robbed the TD Bank at 5053 Turnpike Feeder Road in the Lakewood Park area around 1 p.m. Seven bank employees and one customer were in the bank at the time of the robbery, according to a statement released by a sheriff’s spokesman.
Dougherty walked into the bank wearing black underwear over his face and holding a wooden shotgun. He ordered two bank employees out of their offices and told them to go to the teller counter. Once there, he placed a gray plastic Walmart bag on the counter and told the teller to put $20 and $50 bills in the bag.
Once given the money, Dougherty ordered the employees to the ground and told them to count to 100. He left the bank and got into a maroon Chevy suburban with a Minnesota license plate. Hidden in the cash was a bank robbery detection device, according to the statement.
Bank employees activated a silent alarm, called 911, and gave police a description of Dougherty and the suburban.
Investigators got a hit on the detection device and tracked Dougherty to the 4000 block of Kings Highway.
Dougherty was taken into custody and deputies found $1,800 in cash in his pocket and the wooden shotgun in his suburban, along with some other loose cash.
Deputies say Dougherty admitted to the bank robbery and said he needed the money.
“The suspect told me he was on a fixed income and gambled away his money on horses and Texas hold-em,” the deputy wrote in an arrest report….
Contact: Michael Joe Murphy
Email: [email protected]