Walter Unbehaum

Walter Unbehaum

The 74-year-old American who robbed a bank
Country: USA

Biography of Walter Unbehaun

Walter Unbehaun is a 74-year-old American who recently made headlines for robbing a bank. Despite his advanced age, Unbehaun, a seasoned criminal with a long history, chose to commit another crime instead of quietly enjoying his old age. Surprisingly, prison was not a punishment for the elderly man; in fact, it was what he desired – to be back behind bars.

Walter Unbehaum

Unbehaun's criminal record started at the age of 23. He was expelled from school and later made a living through odd jobs, primarily working as a plumber. At 23, he was incarcerated for grand theft auto, and he continued to commit several episodes of burglary. As the years went by, it became evident that Unbehaun had firmly chosen the path of crime, with his offenses becoming more severe.

In 1970, he kidnapped a young girl who was eventually found alive, albeit bound, in a motel. Unbehaun managed to escape, but not for long. He ended up back in prison, which had become a home to him. His next sentence was for bank robbery, and he was released in 2011 when he was well into his seventies. He had been married three times, with his last wife passing away. Unbehaun lived in a trailer provided by his sister.

Once free, Unbehaun grew bored. Prison had truly become his main residence over the years, so he began thinking about how to return to incarceration. Ironically, one of his previous convictions was for prison escape, but as he aged, his values seemed to shift. Thus, the retired pensioner devised a bold plan. Armed with a cane and a gun, he entered a bank one day in February last year. Later during the trial, it was revealed that Unbehaun spoke to the cashier in a surprisingly gentle manner, showing her his weapon and saying, "I don't want to hurt you." He made off with $4,178 and headed to the nearest motel, where he waited for the police. Naturally, the robber was swiftly identified, and when the officers stormed in to arrest him, Unbehaun breathed a sigh of relief – his plan had worked.

Back in prison once again, Unbehaun felt at home. He later admitted that he chose to rob a bank hoping for a life sentence. Unfortunately, he was mistaken. The judge almost sentenced him to freedom. In the end, the prosecution requested seven years, but Unbehaun received only three and a half. Needless to say, the elderly robber felt deeply disappointed. He had hoped that robbing a bank would guarantee a lifelong prison term. The judge reminded him that taxpayers bear the burden of incarcerating individuals like Unbehaun, and therefore, granting such "gifts" to criminals is an expensive indulgence. Additionally, the court could not sentence him to freedom, as that would essentially mean that banks in the United States can be robbed with impunity.

Meanwhile, Unbehaun did not fare well during the trial – he even attended the last few sessions in a wheelchair. Many in the courtroom felt uncomfortable and pained watching a free man rob a bank to end up behind bars. The absurdity of the situation was bewildering. However, Unbehaun himself considers his trailer to be his prison, while the actual prison walls have long become his home.