75-Year-Old Accused of Robbing Bank, Going to Casino Faces a Judge

August 26, 2011 Updated Aug 26, 2011 at 6:50 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

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August 26, 2011 Updated Aug 26, 2011 at 6:50 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW)- 75-year-old Jack Znajmiecki of West Seneca appeared in front of a Buffalo City Court Judge Friday to face robbery charges. Znajmiecki is accused of robbing the M&T Bank Fountain Plaza Branch Thursday morning. Police say the 75-year-old demanded cash and threatened to use a gun and left with an undisclosed amount of cash. Detectives also added Znajmiecki was a frequent banker there and was known by bank staffers. State Police discovered the elderly man at the Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls a short time later with a large amount of cash. Znajmiecki was charged with first degree robbery and criminal possession of stolen property. The 75-year-old allegedly admitted to police that he robbed the bank because he needed the money. In court it was revealed that Znajmiecki has 3 prior felony convictions, all of which are theft related. It's unknown if the 75-year-old has a gambling addiction, but Licensed Clinical Social Worker Matthew Jost, who specializes in treating gambling addiction says this addiction effects about 40-thousand people in the Western New York area and is more common than people think.

"This situation is not uncommon. We hear of people who embezzle, people who are in charge of bookkeeping, steal, all to feed their gambling habit," said Jost.

Znajmiecki remains in custody on $250,000 bail. For information on gambling recovery Eyewitness News has provided a few links of organizations who provide services below:

Jewish Family Service of Buffalo & Erie County
70 Barker Street, Buffalo (716) 883-1914
http://www.jfsbuffalo.org/gambling.html

Gamblers Anonymous
http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/index.php

New York Council on Problem Gambling
http://www.nyproblemgambling.org/

Matthew Jost (licensed Clinical Social Worker)
716-832-0089