By Keith Coffman
(Reuters) - A parolee from Oregon robbed a Wyoming bank then offered the stolen cash to passersby while waiting for police to arrest her because she wanted to go back to prison, court documents showed on Friday.
Linda Patricia Thompson, also known as Brian Thompson, is being held on a federal bank robbery charge after authorities said she robbed the U.S. Bank branch in Cheyenne of more than $16,000, federal authorities said.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit filed by FBI Special Agent Tory Smith, Thompson told investigators that she was released from an Oregon lockup last month, and told her parole officer there that she did not want to be freed because she would not do well on parole.
She ultimately hopped on a train in La Grande, Oregon and arrived in Wyoming during the week of July 18, the affidavit said.
Thompson told investigators she was in Wyoming for about a week when she was assaulted at a Cheyenne park by several unknown assailants, and suffered multiple facial fractures that landed her in a hospital.
Upon her release from the hospital, Thompson was living on the streets of Cheyenne because she could not get a bed at a local shelter. She decided she could no longer be homeless and to rob a bank to go back to prison, the affidavit said.
On July 27, she entered the U.S. Bank branch in Cheyenne and handed a teller a note written on cardboard that said, "I have a gun. Give me all your money," police said.
The teller placed $16,300 on the counter. Thompson took the money and went outside into the parking lot, sat down on a 5-gallon bucket, and offered cash to people passing by and threw some of the currency into the air, the FBI said.
When a Cheyenne police officer arrived at the scene, he found Thompson with a large sum of money next to her, and that she admitted to the crime. "I just robbed the bank, I want to go back to prison," the affidavit quoted her as telling the officer.
All of the stolen currency was recovered, authorities said. If convicted of the federal bank robbery charge, Thompson faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
(Reporting by Keith Coffman in DENVER)