Golf money was motive for robbery


Thomas C. Springer needed money for golf.

That's why, the former Capitol Hill press secretary told investigators, he robbed banks in Montgomery County.

In federal court in Greenbelt yesterday, Springer, 57, of Garrett Park pleaded guilty to four counts of bank robbery. According to authorities, Springer said he needed money for golf and his rent. His attorney did not return a phone message yesterday.

His downfall, according to court papers, came in November 2005 when Springer entered a Chevy Chase Bank in Kensington. Authorities said he approached the teller and passed a note that read, "Bank Robbery." The teller turned over $400 laced with dye packs.

As Springer ran, a bank customer saw the packs explode in Springer's pocket and alerted authorities. Police arrested Springer shortly afterward. Springer, who has been convicted in four previous bank robberies, was a press secretary for then-Rep. Toby Roth of Wisconsin in the 1980s.

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