Janesville34.9°

Homeless man charged in bank robbery

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ANN MARIE AMES
October 19, 2011
— Rahn Gearhart apologized to police when he was arrested Monday in the Gazette lobby.

That wasn't where he said he'd wait for police, according to the note he gave a teller at 3:30 p.m. Monday at Johnson Bank, 1 S. Main St., Janesville.


"Sorry I came here rather than Firehouse Park," Gearhart told police, according to the criminal complaint filed Tuesday in Rock County Court.


Gearhart, 53, no fixed address, on Tuesday was charged with one count of robbery of a financial institution. He is in custody at the Rock County Jail on a $25,000 cash bond.


He handed a bank teller a folded piece of white notebook paper, according to the complaint.


"Do not panic. This is a robbery," the note states. "Place two thousand dollars in front of me in $100, $50 and $20 bills, with no more than 15 bills of any type.


"Thank you."


At the bottom of the note is written, "I will wait for the police in the Firehouse Park."


Firehouse Park is between North Main Street and the Rock River northwest of Johnson Bank.


When the teller turned from the counter, he demanded that she just give him the money. The teller handed Gearhart a stack of loose bills. He grabbed his note and walked up the hill and across the street to the Gazette at 1 S. Parker Drive, according to the complaint.


He asked a Gazette sales representative to call 911 to report the robbery. Gearhart waited in a conference room with a Gazette manager while police were called.


He said he was homeless and wanted a meal and a place to stay.


Gearhart did not display a weapon at the bank and was not armed when he was arrested, according to a news release from the Janesville Police Department.


He got $2,970 from the bank.


If convicted, Gearhart faces fines of $100,000 or 40 years in prison. His adjourned initial appearance is scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday.



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