82-year-old bank robber will spend weekends in jail - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

82-year-old bank robber will spend weekends in jail

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BENTON, Ill. -- An 82-year-old man from Marion who robbed a bank in Benton will go to jail for ten weekends.  

Arthur Bays was also sentenced to four months of probation and 180 days of house arrest in federal court Thursday.

Crystal Heumann was the teller at the State Bank of Whittington when Bays approached her July 26.  

Bays demanded money from her and flashed a toy gun from his waistband, meant to look like a real one.

"Arthur Bays IS EVIL!" Heumann wrote in a victim impact statement, submitted to the court earlier this week.

Before the sentencing Thursday, Heumann told Bays she's scared to wait on customers she doesn't know, especially elderly customers.

Bays' lawyer, federal public defender Melissa Day, told a different story: one of a man who got into financial trouble after his wife passed away.

Bays lives off $1,300 a month from social security and has a number of different medical issues, including a heart surgery in September.

He told the judge he got deeper into debt with a car loan, and then five different payday loans to cover his debt.

"It just got overbearing to where I couldn't make a payment on anything," Bays said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney George Norwood noted investigators found multiple stacks of scratch-off lottery tickets inside Bays' apartment and said he "loves to gamble, but can't afford it."

Norwood also said the crime was serious and dangerous when he asked the judge for a 51-month sentence.

"I understand he's 82 years old, but he robbed a bank at 82 years old," Norwood said.

Bays apologized to everyone, including the teller, before the judge sentenced him.

"I'm sorry I did what I did. I wasn't thinking," Bays said. "I don't know if I was in my right mind or not. I probably wasn't."

In addition to the prison sentence, home confinement and probation, Bays is also required to pay back $1,753 to the State Bank of Whittington. That's the amount of money that wasn't recovered by police of the original $12,528 Bays got out of the bank with.

Judge J. Phil Gilbert said Bays might be the oldest criminal he's ever had to sentence, and acknowledged a long sentence would likely leave him in prison.

"This is a week I wish I almost didn't have to show up for work," Judge Gilbert said regarding the difficulty of his decision.

Bays pleaded guilty in November.

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