Man caught by GPS in Kansas bank robbery in debt after DUI

A Missouri man who was $14,000 in court debt after a DUI has pleaded guilty to a Kansas bank robbery where he got only $615.

Ryan Michael Cothern, 41, of Kansas City, pleaded guilty Wednesday to the Oct. 3, 2017, robbery at a US Bank in Overland Park, U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said in a release.

Cothern handed a teller his smartphone with the message: “Put the 100s, 50s and 20s in the bag,” prosecutors said. When the teller hesitated, Cothern told her, “Don’t do anything you shouldn’t do.”

The teller put $615 in cash and a GPS monitoring device in the bag before pulling the alarm. Cothern was arrested near the 8300 block of Melrose Street, about 7 miles from the bank at 9900 W. 87th St.

He faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000 with sentencing set for a later date.

Cothern had been ordered by a Johnson County court to pay $100 a month on over $14,000 he owed after a DUI case with a probation violation, court records show. He still owes $14,372.65 after paying off $1,800 of $16,172.65 owed in restitution, fines and court costs.

The court order came on Sept. 29 and Cothern was released the same day – four days before the bank robbery.

Cothern was first arrested in January 2015 on the DUI charge and again in August 2017 for violating probation.

It would have taken over 11 years to pay off the $14,000 debt at the court’s rate.

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