BRADENTON -- The man accused of robbing a Wells Fargo bank on Tuesday told police he did it because he got "tunnel vision" since he's in the middle of a divorce, is unemployed and has been using heroin, according to the Bradenton Police Department.
About 9:22 a.m., the man, later identified by police as 30-year-old Brian Schmidt, robbed the Wells Fargo at 1700 59th Street W., taking an unspecified amount of money, and fled in a vehicle, according to Capt. William Fowler of the Bradenton Police Department.
Police said Schmidt handed a note to the bank teller at the counter that read, "Give me all the money in your drawer! Make no sounds! FAST!!!" The teller complied and Schmidt fled, eventually being apprehended by police in Palmetto after he crashed his car into a fence and tried to run away.
Police interviewed Schmidt after his arrest and he admitted to robbing the bank. He said he did it because he got "tunnel vision" as a result of worsening circumstances in his life. He told police he was going through a divorce, has been unemployed for several months, was served an eviction notice, had his utilities cut off and was using heroin.
Schmidt said he saw the bank while driving and decided to rob it in that moment because he needed money, so he wrote the note in his car before going in. He said he did not have a weapon and never implied that he had a weapon. He said he had no intention of harming anyone at the bank.
Schmidt was charged with unarmed robbery and fleeing to elude law enforcement. He is being held in the Manatee County jail on bonds totaling $22,500.