Grief-stricken after wife’s death, 74-year-old bank robber gets reprieve

Sandy Hawkins won’t be prosecuted if he pays back bank, meets other conditions

Sandy Hawkins won't be prosecuted if he meets certain conditions in the next year.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A 74-year-old man who robbed a bank last year near Boca Raton won’t be serving any prison time.

Sandy Hawkins signed off on a court-ordered pretrial intervention program Friday that would keep him out of prison and have the robbery charge against him dropped provided he stays out of trouble for the next year.

In December, Hawkins told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that he needed help after the sudden death of his wife in 2017.

According to a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office probable cause affidavit, Hawkins walked into a Wells Fargo branch on Sandalfoot Plaza Drive in November and demanded $1,100 in cash.

The teller began counting aloud as he laid out each $100 bill, counting $2,000.

“Hawkins told him it was too much and again demanded $1,100,” the affidavit said.

After the teller slid $1,100 under the window, Hawkins took the money and walked out, only to be found by deputies the next day.

During an interview with detectives, Hawkins removed a tattered bank deposit slip from his pocket with a handwritten note that included the message, “Hope to get caught.”

Why would he want to go to jail? According to the paper, Hawkins left his rental home because the memories were too painful for him, quit his job and slept in his car. Until his car got repossessed.

Hawkins told the paper marrying his wife was the best decision of his life and robbing the bank was his worst.

Under the terms of his deferred prosecution, Hawkins must pay restitution to the bank, perform 120 hours of community service, remain at the Lord’s Place for the entirety of the agreement and meet certain other conditions, including not violating the law.