73-year-old charged with robbing Fort Pierce bank with shotgun; tells officials 'times are tough'

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. - ST. LUCIE COUNTY — Sheriff  Ken Mascara said there was something unusual about Wednesday's bank robbery suspect.

"I've never seen anyone in their 70s rob a bank," Mascara said about the crime at the TD Bank in Lakewood Park. "He has no criminal record, so he was a bit of a novice."

John Dougherty, 73, made a statement to deputies that "times are tough for seniors" when he was taken into custody on Kings Highway near St. Lucie Boulevard.

Mascara credited witnesses for aiding deputies in the apprehension of the shotgun-toting senior citizen.

"The information they provided was exceptional," Mascara said. "They gave us the correct description of the suspect, the type of car he was driving and his direction of travel."

That's how deputies were able to stop Dougherty minutes after the robbery at the bank in the 5000 block of Turnpike Feeder Road shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday. Deputies said Dougherty was also foiled in his getaway because once he was traveling south on Kings, he had no options for turning.

Dougherty, who lives in the northern part of the county, walked into the bank Wednesday wearing a white ball cap, a black cloth over his head and a shotgun in his hand just before 1 p.m. and demanded cash from a teller, the Sheriff's Office said. He fled with the cash in his vehicle.

Dougherty was being held at the St. Lucie County Jail without bail.

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