Walter Unbehaun of Rock Hill, N.C., allegedly held up a Harris Bank branch in Niles, Ill., Saturday and was arrested outside a hotel in Chicago Sunday, the Chicago Tribune reported.
A bank teller told authorities an elderly man walked in with a cane and handed a note written on a Harris Bank transaction slip announcing: "This is a hold up. I have nothing to lose."
The robber opened his jacket to a pistol tucked into his waistband and said: "I only have six months to live and have nothing to lose. I don't want to hurt you."
The Tribune said the teller gave the robber $4,178 in cash, which he divided into two stacks and stuffed into separate pockets.
The elderly robber then walked out, got into a gray or silver sedan and drove away, surveillance camera footage showed.
Authorities were led to Unbehaun by a caller who described knowing of someone who matched the description of the bank robber.
Police said a search of his hotel room turned up a loaded handgun, a box of bullets and $3,476 in cash.
Police said in their criminal complaint Unbehaun, who served time for bank robbery in South Carolina and may have had surgery recently, said he had spent most of his adult life in prison and "wanted to go back as he felt more comfortable in prison than out." He allegedly said he wanted to spend the remainder of his life in prison.
"He knew that robbing a bank with a loaded gun would accomplish that," the complaint stated.
There was no confirmation Unbehaun has a fatal health condition.