84-Year-Old Bank Robber Who Wanted to Return to Prison Gets 21 Years for Credit Union Heist

An Arizona man who spent over half his life behind bars is headed back to prison after robbing two bank tellers at gunpoint back in 2018.

On Tuesday, Robert Francis Krebs, 84, of Tucson, Arizona was sentenced to 262 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release. Krebs was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $8,385. Krebs was already convicted by a jury for armed bank robbery in 2017.

On January 12, 2018, Krebs entered into Pyramid Federal Credit Union in Tucson, Arizona and demanded money from the bank tellers. Krebs ended up stealing $8,300 but was caught at a local motel after the branch manager and another teller tripped a silent alarm that was located inside the bank vault.

When local authorities found Krebs in the motel parking lot, he was disguised in a wig, had cotton in his cheeks and varnished his fingertips to leave no fingerprints, according to Star Advertiser.

Once local authorities interrogated Krebs, they found out that he stole from the local bank because his $800 social security checks weren't "enough to live on," according to court records. Krebs also stated that he didn't wear a mask or disguise during the robberies because he "kind of wanted to get caught" due to his familiar nature with being behind bars for most of his adult life.

A stock photo of handcuffs and fingerprints
A stock photo of handcuffs and fingerprints. An Arizona man who spent over half his life behind bars is headed back to prison after robbing two bank tellers at gunpoint back in 2018. Getty Images

William J. Rehder, a retired FBI bank robbery expert who wasn't involved in Krebs' case told Star Advertiser in 2019 that some formerly incarcerated persons who are released from prison have a hard time adjusting to life outside of prison walls.

"They really can't make it on the outside," Rehder said. "He is right—Social Security is probably not enough to keep him going, and he has no prospects for income."

Krebs was on probation at the time of the Arizona robbery after being released from prison in the summer of 2017.

Krebs criminal career started in 1966 where he was sentenced to three years in prison in Chicago for embezzling $72,000 from a bank where he worked at. He did another 17 years in Arizona for theft and armed robbery convictions and served more than 30 years in prison for a 1981 bank robbery in Florida.

Rehder also spoke about Krebs' age in reference to him stealing from banks.

"Krebs is a rarity in the world of bank robbery, where it's unusual for elderly people to hold up lending institutions. Typically, bank robbers are in their 20s," said Rehder to Star Advertiser.