Man robs bank to escape wife, gets sentenced to house arrest

Man says he robbed Kansas City bank to go to jail - and get away from his wife. Judge sentences him to six months imprisonment - at home.

David Rosenberg ,

 Lawrence John Ripple, the Kansas man who robbed bank to get away from his wife
Lawrence John Ripple, the Kansas man who robbed bank to get away from his wife

A federal judge sentenced a Kansas bank robber to six months imprisonment Tuesday, in connection with a hold-up at the Bank of Labor in Kansas City last September.

US District Court Judge Carlos Murguia handed down the sentence to 71-year old Lawrence John Ripple, after both defense attorneys and federal prosecutors pushed for leniency, citing Ripple’s lack of any previous criminal record, his age, and the specific circumstances of the September robbery.

Last September, Ripple approached a teller at the Bank of Labor with a note reading “I have a gun, give me money”, The Kansas City Star reported.

The teller complied with Ripple’s request, handing him $2,924.

Rather than flee the scene, however, Ripple sat down in the bank lobby and nonchalantly told a guard that he was the “guy he was looking for”.

Ripple waited in the lobby for police to arrive, and immediately surrendered himself to authorities.

During questioning, Ripple told investigators that he would “rather be in jail than at home”, and that he wanted to go to jail to get away from his wife.

Ripple’s attorney noted that his client had suffered from severe depression after a quadruple bypass surgery in 2015, and claimed that the robbery was a “cry for help”.

While Ripple could have been sentenced to up to 37 months in prison, prosecutor Sheri Catania agreed that the unique nature of the robbery called for leniency in the sentencing.

“What’s got lost in the news reports is that Mr. Ripple went to a bank, robbed it and never left,” Catania said, noting that Ripple returned the money shortly after the robbery took place.

Ironically, Ripple, who claimed he carried out the robbery to escape his wife, will serve his six-month sentence at home – with his wife and four stepchildren.

In addition, Ripple was given three years of supervised probation, 50 hours of community service, and was ordered to pay $227 in compensation to the Bank of Labor for time lost as a result of the robbery.