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Florida Man Shows It’s Much Easier To Get Charged With Felony Bank Robbery Than Actually Robbing A Bank

Last Updated 2 days by Amnon J. Jobi | Amnon Front Page

A Florida man has been charged with robbery after he asked a bank teller to withdraw one cent.

Michael Fleming, 41, was arrested on June 29 after he entered a Chase Bank and filled out a withdrawal slip for one cent, according to his arrest report. When Fleming handed the slip to the bank teller, he was told his request could not be fulfilled.

Fleming allegedly then responded: “So you want me to say the other word?” It is assumed this “other word,” he was referring to was “robbery.”

The bank teller realized what was going on and became afraid that Fleming could become violent and notified law enforcement. Sheriff’s deputies received a call just before 2 p.m. about an “in-progress robbery.” Fleming was still in the building when law enforcement arrived and was taken into custody without incident.

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During a recorded interview, Fleming allegedly told authorities that he had first gone to a Citizens First Bank to make the withdrawal, but it was closed so he drove to the Chase Bank branch.

Fleming told law enforcement, “Most of the time, the way tellers are trained, if someone comes in to rob you, you give them the money and let them go.” He also allegedly told police that he expected the teller to give him the penny and said he would then sit in a chair and wait for law enforcement. He said that even though he didn’t receive anything from the teller, he still waited in the lobby for authorities, saying his goal was to be arrested.

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Fleming received no money from the bank, and doesn’t even have an account with Chase, the arrest affidavit said.

Even though Fleming only asked for a penny and received nothing, he has still been charged with felony bank robbery without a weapon. The relevant Florida statute defines “robbery” as “the taking of money or other property which may be the subject of larceny from the person or custody of another, with intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person or the owner of the money or other property, when in the course of the taking there is the use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear.”

If, in committing a robbery, the suspect didn’t use a weapon, then they are charged with a second-degree felony.

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Fleming was taken to the Sumter County Detention Center, where he was booked and processed. He has no previous convictions for robbery.

Since his arrest, Fleming has qualified as indigent and was granted a court-appointed attorney, Law & Crime reported, and his bond has been set at $5,000.

It is unclear at this time why Fleming wanted to be arrested, or how he knew how tellers are trained if he didn’t have previous convictions for robbery.

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