Homeless man tried to rob bank to escape cold, Orlando police say

Rodney Cameron says he's 'tired of street life, wants warm place to stay'

11pm Homeless Man Bank Robbery
11pm Homeless Man Bank Robbery

ORLANDO, Fla. – Police say a homeless man in Orlando tried to rob a bank to escape the cold.

Police arrested 58-year-old Rodney Cameron on Tuesday as temperatures in Orlando dipped to record lows.

[RELATED: Freezing cold invades Central Florida]

Police said he tried to rob Bank United on Central Boulevard by handing the teller a note that said, "This is a bank robbery. I need 5-100s 5-50s 10-20s. Give me the money. I will sit outside until the police show up."

And he did.

He waited on a lobby chair and when cops arrived he said, "I am tired of the street life and want a warm place to stay."

Cameron even told the teller why he committed the crime, saying he was "tired of being bothered with medical problems and he needed help."

Homeless men and women said they've seen Cameron around the Coalition for the Homeless shelter, where he told police was his last address.

Orlando police spokeswoman Lt. Lovetta Quinn-Henry said, "It is very common to see people commit less offensive crimes to escape cold weather. It's not very common to see them commit a bank robbery to escape the weather or street living."

"It's a bit extreme but at the same time, he did what he had to do to achieve his goal. It's sad but that's just the way it is, it's reality," said Lasonya Caldwell, who also spends cold nights at the homeless shelter. "Some people don't have any other alternative."

"I don't think anyone should have to go through those extremes to have a place to rest, just to get out of the elements," Douglas Caldwell said.

Muffet Robinson, with the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, said, "We don't know enough to comment specifically, but it shows the desperate measures that desperate people will go to. That's why we know how much our services are needed in our community."

It's unclear if Cameron has he ever done anything like this before. Records show he has never been arrested in Florida, but he went to prison previously in Indiana.

Now, he will likely face prison time again.