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December 21, 2014

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Reluctant bank robber promptly turns himself in, Metro Police say

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courtesy of metro police

Matthew Romero

Updated Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013 | 5:36 p.m.

He came to Las Vegas to get away, but he didn’t want to get away with a crime.

After robbing a U.S. Bank branch last week, Matthew J. Romero, 41, a New Mexico resident who says he was reeling from a failed marriage and was off his medication, called 911 from the bank parking lot to confess, according to a Metro Police report.

The report, released Thursday, detailed the alleged crime:

Romero walked out of the bank at 2300 W. Sahara with $1,118. Moments earlier, he had slipped a teller a note that read, “This is a bank robbery, I have a knife in my pocket don’t want to use it. Please call police. I am so very sorry…don’t mean to scare you.”

Romero told police he picked teller Jake Grusman, 20, because he didn’t want to frighten a female teller.

“He just seemed like a guy who was a little bit troubled, at the end of his rope,” Grusman said.

Romero told police he came to Las Vegas two days prior to the heist because he wanted to “go away for a while.”

He’d seen the bank earlier and took a cab there after checking out of Circus Circus.

After stuffing the money in the pocket of his gray, hooded “Duke” sweatshirt, dropping a $20 as he left, the guilt caught up with him and he dialed 911 on his cellphone.

While Romero waited to be arrested, a dispatcher told him to discard his folding knife and said it would be OK for Romero to take off his hoodie since he was warm.

When officers came to arrest Romero, he told them, “I’m off my meds and I’m not feeling too good. I just took all that money, it’s all there except that one $20.”

Romero (identified as Ramero in court documents) is charged in Las Vegas Township Justice Court with felony burglary and robbery charges. He is in the Clark County Detention Center, where his bail is set at $60,000. His next appearance is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. Tuesday before Judge Eric Goodman.

“He looked pretty dead in his eyes, he looked like there’s nothing there,” Grusman said. “I just hope he’s all right.”

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