A Nevada Highway Patrol trooper standing outside the Carson City substation had a Las Vegas man approach him and confess to a Montana bank robbery.
"The doors were locked, and the trooper was knocking on the door waiting for the sergeant to open up when a vehicle pulled up. The guy got out, approached him nervously, and said something like, 'I just want to turn myself in. I don't want to hurt anybody,'" said Trooper Chuck Allen, public relations coordinator for the Department of Public Safety.
Trooper Kris Satterwhite, who is stationed in Reno, was at the Curry Street substation to return a set of keys when Peter MacGregor, 55, allegedly made the startling confession shortly before 1 p.m. Wednesday.
"He didn't arrest him; he just detained him until he could ascertain if he was (serious) or not," said Allen. "Kris didn't read him his rights, but told him he didn't have to talk. But the guy just rambled on."
Allen said Satterwhite found a knife in MacGregor's pocket. He said it's unclear why MacGregor decided to confess.
"My impression was he knew he did something wrong and maybe he was tired of looking over his shoulder," he said.
On May 19, a man matching MacGregor's description entered the U.S. Bank in Butte, Mont., approached a teller, put a bag on the counter, and said, "This is a bomb; give me all your big bills," according to a story in The Montana Standard.
The robber made off with an undisclosed amount of cash. The bag did not contain a bomb.
Butte-Silver Bow Sheriff John Walsh said Thursday if MacGregor hadn't come forward, the odds of catching him were "pretty slim, honestly.
"We had some video, but as far as being able to identify him, there was nothing to indicate who he was," he said. "Basically, from the beginning of this, we knew (the robber) wasn't someone local. This person didn't try to disguise himself. If he was from around here, we would have found him."
MacGregor was booked into the Carson City Jail on Wednesday night.
Sgt. Kent Steele said MacGregor had $7 on him at the time. At 8:30 a.m. Thursday, MacGregor was released to federal authorities.
n Contact reporter F.T. Norton at email@example.com or 881-1213.