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Poker and Racetrack Losses Prompt Bank Robbery

A senior citizen on a fixed income claims that a losing streak at horse racing and poker was the catalyst that caused him to rob a Florida bank with a loaded shotgun last week.

John A. Dougherty, 73, disguised his face by wearing black underwear when he instructed two tellers at a TD Bank in St. Lucie County to load a Walmart bag with $20 and $50 bills. The tellers complied, but also hid a tracking device within the bag, the Palm Beach Post reported.

After receiving the loot, Dougherty ordered seven bank employees and one customer to get on the ground and count to 100. He made his getaway in a Chevy Suburban with Minnesota plates. The activation of a silent alarm and a call to 911 by alert bank workers allowed law enforcement to make use of both the detection device and a description of Dougherty’s vehicle to apprehend the wayward gambler in a matter of minutes.

Dougherty was found with some $1,800 in cash and the shotgun. He reportedly admitted to the bank job, telling the arresting officer that he needed the dough because he “gambled away his money on horses and Texas Hold’em,” the arrest report stated.

Dougherty faces eight counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and an armed robbery charge despite telling the police he had no intention of using the shotgun.



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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.