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A Texas man who couldn’t afford a ring for his fiancé robbed a bank in broad daylight a day before his wedding, and used money from the heist to pay off the tab for his celebration, police say.
Heath Bumpous, 30, has been charged with aggravated robbery in connection the alleged brazen pre-wedding caper, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com.
Bumpous, authorities allege, casually strolled into the rear entrance of Citizens State Bank in Groveton around 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 4 and ordered tellers to unload their tills.
“It’s kind of crazy, never had something like that happen before,” Trinity County Sheriff Woody Wallace told Oxygen.com.
“It just seemed kind of strange when somebody walks into a bank with absolutely no mask on, pretty calm, they said he wasn’t really upset, or mad, or in a hurry,” he added. “[Bumpous] just kind of walked in and demanded the money.”
“I don’t want to get anyone hurt,” the groom supposedly told bank staff, according to the affidavit.
Bumpous allegedly passed tellers a handful of gray Walmart bags and told them to stuff the money inside.
“The tellers, fearing for their lives, that he is armed and dangerous, filled the Walmart sacks with their till,” the affidavit stated.
Bumpous then allegedly sauntered out of the Groveton bank with roughly $7,000 in cash. Police say he hopped in his Ford Focus, discarded his clothes, and drove about 20 miles north to Cochino Lodge — the venue where he was to celebrate his wedding the following day — and slipped staff there $2,600.
“He left the location where robbed the bank and went straight to the wedding venue and paid them in cash for the venue the next day,” Wallace explained.
Officials suspect Bumpous was planning to dish out the rest of the loot on a wedding ring, which he hadn’t yet purchased.
“He’s been down on his luck, couldn’t get the money to pay for a wedding ring, the wedding ring she wanted,” the sheriff added. “So that’s what the money was for.”
But before Bumpous could get that far, his fiancé noticed police were circulating an image of her future husband on social media, police say.
“She saw it, she sent him a text, ‘Did you just rob a bank?' and he didn’t reply,” Wallace described.
The woman allegedly sent her fiancé the picture of then-unidentified bank robbery suspect.
“That’s when he called her and she convinced him it was time to go turn himself in,” the sheriff added.
Wallace said police then retrieved a stack of $20 bills from Cochino Lodge, whose serial numbers matched the stolen bank money.
Bumpous reportedly admitted he had been having financial problems lately, as well as “mental health troubles.”
Wallace confirmed the wedding didn't go forward since Bumpous is currently locked up.
Authorities also found a loaded .380 pistol in Bumpous’ Ford but weren’t able to confirm if he brought it in the bank. Bumpous “never displayed or said he had a handgun” during the stickup, the arrest affidavit claimed.
Still, police are currently investigating whether Bumpous had planned the robbery. The sheriff noted they had received reports that a man matching the groom’s description appeared to be photographing the bank, and perhaps scouting out the heist, three days before the robbery occurred.
“Did he plan it? Or was it just a spur of the moment thing? We don’t know yet,” said Wallace. “Either way, you can’t go into a bank and demand money.”
Bumpous is being held on a $300,000 bond, according to the Trinity County Sheriff's Office. It's unclear if a court date has been scheduled for his case.
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