FORT PIERCE — It could be argued that there are better ways to pay the back rent than bank robbing.
But that’s what appears to be the motive for Rodney Allen Verbeck, 56, who was arrested last week in connection with a March 5 Chase Bank robbery in Fort Pierce and with a bank robbery in Boca Raton a day earlier in an oddball caper even by Fort Pierce standards.
“It was within 15 minutes of the bank robbery he paid his rent,” Fort Pierce police Detective Jason Braun said Wednesday.
Braun’s agency began investigating March 5 after the robbery of a Chase Bank in the 600 block of Virginia Avenue.
A teller said the robber walked up casually and they made small talk, a complaint affidavit states. The teller asked if it was a long day and asked if the man was a chef. The robber said he was and asked how she guessed. After getting change for a $5 bill, the robber presented a note demanding money, according to statements in a complaint affidavit.
Within minutes of releasing the surveillance image, a television news crew based in Palm Beach County told Fort Pierce police the suspect’s photo appeared to match that from a Boca Raton bank robbery a day earlier, said Sgt. Dennis McWilliams, Fort Pierce police spokesman.
The next break came March 12 when a tipster said the robber lived in the Cortez apartments in Fort Pierce, which are situated on Linda Sue Circle. The caller indicated the man had a big white dog and just paid his $2,275 rent in cash...
“The motive for the robbery looks like he was being served an eviction that day,” Braun said. “The sheriff’s deputies had served the eviction that day at the same time he was in there paying the back rent.”
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