Kelly Gibson, 31, is a sixth-grade dropout, living in his mother-in-law's garage and spending up to $100 a day on heroin.
Mooresville police arrested Gibson after a Crime Stoppers tip told investigators they were looking for "Boomer" in the robbery at the Circle K store on Kentucky Avenue in Camby just inside the Marion County Line.
A surveillance camera photo shows Gibson inside the store buying a fountain drink and a pack of cigarettes just before he decided he needed a ride home to Mooresville.
"She told me no," said Gibson as he described the manager's reaction who happen to be leaving the store for a trip to the bank with the day's receipts. "I made her get over in her car and I told her give me her money and I meant her money in her purse but I guess she had the store's money in her purse."
Gibson said police told him there was $9,000 in the employee's purse.
Though Gibson is charged with armed robbery, he told Fox 59 News he did not have a gun.
However, he did admit lying to the woman, who told investigators her robber claimed he turned to a life of crime because his son had leukemia.
"She started acting all crazy and hysterical and screaming and crying to I was just telling her stuff to get her to calm down and stuff like my son was sick or whatever and I was putting the money towards that and it calmed her down," said Gibson.
Gibson said his son is not sick, but he did spend some of the stolen money on toys, clothes, food and heroin.
"But that's not what the money was for," said Gibson who has previous drug convictions. "Just 'cuz I stole it don't mean it was for that purpose."
Gibson said he was desperate to raise money to move out of his in-law's garage so that his wife and two children could have a more suitable home, though he admitted spending up to $100 a day on heroin.
The sometimes-dump truck driver realizes he may be looking at more than 20 years in prison after admitting he committed the robbery that began with a need to catch a ride home.
"Before i got in here it was my lucky day but not so much anymore."