GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Gulfport Police Department Detective Adam Cooper has been in law enforcement for 15 years, and not much surprises him. But he said he was stunned by a phone call he received Monday evening. It was about a bank robbery, five years ago, at what was then the Am South Bank on Highway 49, near Interstate 10.
"Until last night, we really had no leads on it," Cooper said." There was not much left to be done on it."
It was February 10, 2005 when a man wearing a disguise that looked a little like Elvis Presley, walked into the bank. He also had a sack that he claimed was a bomb. The lone bank robber also told a teller he had placed another bomb at the home of a bank employee.
It was all untrue, but he got away with the money. There were no arrests in the case. Then came that call Monday night.
"I was genuinely surprised to hear what he was confessing to," Cooper said. "At first, I did not believe it."
Just before nightfall, 61-year-old Dale Mott of Jennings, Louisiana walked into the Harrison County Adult Detention Center and told them he was the guy who committed that unsolved bank robbery five years ago.
Jail officials then called the Gulfport Police. As they began to question Mott, it didn't take long before they realized they had their man. Detective Cooper said he told them everything about the robbery, including some facts the police did not know.
As to what he did with the money, Cooper said Mott was a frequent visitor at coast casinos. With a small chuckle, detective Cooper said Mott told them he lost every cent that he had stolen from the bank. Mott won't be doing any gambling anytime soon.
Mott told police he confessed to clear his conscience. After his confession, as police were taking him to jail, the officers thanked him for turning himself in. Detective Cooper was surprised by Mott's closing comment.
"I asked him if he felt better after he told us," Cooper said. The confessed bank robber's answer was only to say "not really."
Mott has been charged with bank robberies in the past. In the late 60s he robbed a Texas bank. He also served time in Louisiana for a bank robbery there about 16 years ago.