Senior citizen turns self in for bank robbery

Image 1 of 5

A senior citizen turned herself in to police on Monday for allegedly robbing a Bank of America.

“She looked like your typical 65-year-old grandmother, like she could do no wrong,” said Rob Shaw, spokesperson for the St. Petersburg Police Department.

Janice Ellinwood, 65, showed up at St. Petersburg police headquarters on Monday afternoon saying she was wanted for a crime.

When the officer at the front desk asked her what she did, Ellinwood would not tell him. She instead told him to look it up, directing the officer to a news release about an unsolved bank robbery at the Bank of America on 62nd Avenue North.

“She said that her picture had been all over the news and she wanted to turn herself in,” said Shaw.

Surveillance footage from the Bank of America on November 7 captured someone walking in wearing a wig with long black hair to cover her head of gray.

According to police, Ellinwood handed a note to the teller claiming she had a bomb and demanding money.

She got away with $1,900.

Police circulated the pictures of the bank robbery suspect.

After two weeks on the run, Ellinwood turned herself in. She admitted to police that the bomb she claimed to have during the robbery was a hoax, but she would not say why she robbed the bank. When officers tried to question her, Ellinwood asked for an attorney.

“It’s been a long-standing joke here at the St. Petersburg Police Department, as well as other departments across the nation, that if you want to catch somebody, hang out at the front desk. They’ll always turn themselves in -- which is a joke, because very rarely does that ever occur, especially for a bank robber,” said Shaw.

Ellinwood lives in the Clearview Oaks retirement community, approximately five miles from the bank.

“I don’t know how she got out of the bank so quickly at that age in the first place,” said Norma Burridge, a shocked resident who lives in the same building as Ellinwood. “You don’t know somebody until you live with them.”