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Judge sentences 75-year-old bank robber to time served

Senior citizen arrested minutes after he held up Bank of America in July

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GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – A 75-year-old man arrested minutes after holding up an Orange Park bank in July walked out of the Clay County jail Monday.

A judge sentenced Noel Arthur Johnson to one year in jail, but suspended all but 92 days -- the amount of time he had been detained since his arrest.

Johnson will remain under house arrest for the year, followed by two years of probation. He also must undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

News4Jax caught up with Johnson at his Fort White mobile home Tuesday, where he answered the door in a bathrobe and confirmed he was on house arrest.

"I can't say or do anything," Johnson said. "I just gotta stay at home."

He declined to comment further.

Johnson pleaded guilty last month to robbery without a firearm. According to the Clay County Sheriff's Office, Johnson made off with $1,760 from the Bank of America on Blanding Boulevard.

Investigators said the robber walked into the bank, handed the teller a note that implied he had a weapon and walked out with the cash.

Johnson was arrested by troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol on Interstate 10 within 30 minutes of the robbery. He was carrying money that had a GPS monitor, troopers said.

Records show Johnson appeared to be struggling financially. In 2016, Johnson was sued by a credit card company that ordered him to pay $4,600. Johnson filed for bankruptcy in May 2017.

A month after filing for bankruptcy, his wife died.

A longtime defense attorney not connected to the case said it's unusual for a bank robber not to be sent to prison but the judge ruled with leniency likely because he decided the community was not at risk and Johnson had learned his lesson.

About the Authors:

Specializes in Clay County issues, general assignment reporting and stories off the beaten path and anchors weekend evening newscasts.

Created WJXT.com in 1995 and managed The Local Station's website ever since.