PLEASANT HILL, M.O. (WDAF) — A 78-year-old woman is accused of robbing a bank Wednesday in Missouri, and it’s not the first time.
Bonnie Gooch is accused in the robbery of Goppert Financial Bank in Pleasant Hill. Three years ago, at age 75, police arrested her in Lee’s Summit after a different bank was robbed.
In the 2020 robbery, Gooch was charged with stealing and convicted, but her sentence was suspended and she was ordered to have supervised probation, which expired in November 2021.
Incidentally, the latest accusation comes 46 years after another Gooch conviction. According to the 2020 criminal complaint, she was convicted of bank robbery in California in 1977.
Wednesday’s arrest happened only a few hundred yards from Goppert Bank, at Guido’s Pizza Place.
“And I saw two police cars pull up to the bank,” said Guido’s manager Justin Lewis. “I was driving into work and the girl was getting out. And I was like, ‘What the heck? An old lady?'”
Pleasant Hill Police Chief Thomas Wright said, “Obviously, it was a tense situation. But when the hands of an elderly woman come out of the car and that is who is driving the suspect vehicle, it’s a little shocking.”
Court documents show that when the 75-year-old Gooch robbed the Bank of the West in Lee’s Summit, her son called authorities and said: “that his mother was ‘off her rocker’ and left the house angry, saying she was going to rob a bank.”
Police told Nexstar’s WDAF that in Wednesday’s bank robbery, employees were handed a note.
“Well, she’s very wily,” Wright said. “She did have an N95-type mask on. Sunglasses and plastic gloves.”
Maggie Kornis, 89, who was bringing her dog to a nearby animal clinic, stopped by the scene of the arrest. She said she can’t relate to a life of “senior crime.”
“I wouldn’t have the energy to do it myself,” she said. “You can’t run very fast at 78, I’ll tell you.”
“I mean, it doesn’t seem or sound believable,” Guido’s Lewis said. “My first reaction was like, ‘Of course in Pleasant Hill.'”
“Well, maybe she was desperate,” Kornis said. “You know sometimes we don’t save enough money.”
Wright said police are planning to look at Gooch’s overall health and financial situation as the case moves through the justice system.