FARMINGTON -- A man said he had no job and no savings so "on the spur of the moment," he opted to rob a North Salt Lake bank to pay his bills.
"Unless I read the pre-sentence report wrong, you made 'a spur of the moment decision' twice in one week," said Judge David Connors in 2nd District Court Tuesday.
Connors sentenced Jerry Greg Hopes, 55, to serve five years to life in the Utah State Prison. Hopes had pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated robbery in October.
Hopes said robbing banks is not something "I would've normally done. I lost the job I had for five years. My 401K was gone. I had to pay my rent, car payment, insurance and registration. I was ready to jump in front of a train, I was so depressed. I don't even have a shoplifting charge."
Deputy Davis County Attorney Steve Major said, "Due to the nature of the crime, prison is recommended."
Police arrested Hopes shortly after the robbery that took place Sept. 13 at Key Bank, 1065 N. U.S. 89, North Salt Lake.
Hopes had entered the bank around 3:50 p.m. and handed a teller a note, demanding an undisclosed amount of money, police said. At some point, he displayed a knife, then fled in a green Honda.
Bank employees had taken a photo of the car and gave it to police. A Division of Motor Vehicles enforcement officer spotted the car on Interstate 15 and followed it to 500 W. 3rd South in Salt Lake City. Police then arrived at the house and identified Hopes as the man who robbed the bank, officers said.
They found the cash from the bank and the knife the tellers said was used in the robbery.
Contact reporter Loretta Park at 801-625-4252 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @LorettaParkSE.