Most of the time, banks robbers are after one thing — money. But North Carolina man James Verone said he robbed a bank of $1 to get free health care in jail.
“I'm sort of a logical person and that was my logic. [This is] what I came up with,” the 59-year-old, who says this is the first time he’s been in trouble with the law, said to WCNC.
Although some people commit crimes to make a political statement — like the Food Not Bombs activists who have been arrested for feeding the homeless without a permit in Florida — Verone’s concerns seem rather practical. He said has a growth on his chest, two ruptured discs and a foot issue, and can’t afford treatment because he’s unemployed.
So, he walked into a bank and handed the teller that had a note that said, “This is a bank robbery. Please only give me one dollar.” Then he walked over to a couch and waited for the police.
Although Verone was hoping to serve three years for bank robbery, he’s been charged with larceny, which holds a shorter sentence.
So what’s health care like for prisoners in North Carolina? According to the inmate handbook, inmates pay a small co-payment— either $5 or $7 — for “initiated visits” and “declared emergency visits.”
“However, no one will be denied access to health care whether they have money or not,” the handbook reads. “You will not be charged for visits about life or limb threatening emergencies, referrals to specialty clinics, defined chronic disease such as TB, HIV, high blood pressure, diabetes, pregnancy care, vaccinations, and periodic health assessments.”
Watch Verone talk about his robbery below: