A British man was arrested in connection with a bank robbery that went wrong after he handed a stick-up note to a teller who was unable to make out his writing.
Alan Slattery, 67, embarked upon a short-lived bank robbery spree that saw him target three banks in East Sussex. Two of those incidents were unsuccessful but it was enough for Slattery to be sentenced to four years in prison, and two years under supervision, Sussex Police said in a news release Wednesday.
The first botched robbery took place on March 18. Slattery entered the Nationwide Building Society, walked up to a teller, and slid over a stick-up note. He left the scene empty-handed when the teller was unable to read his writing. Only later were staff able to make out the note which said, "your screen won’t stop what I’ve got, just hand over the 10s and the 20s. Think about the other customers."
On March 26, Slattery targeted the Nationwide Building Society, this time slipping the teller a note that was easier to read. In fear of her safety, the teller handed over about $3,300 cash to Slattery, who did not utter a word during the entire incident.
Police got a break in the case after examining surveillance footage, which caught Slattery boarding a bus after robbing the bank. They were able to identify the retiree through the bus company, which matched his identity from a picture on his bus pass.
As investigations continued, Slattery attempted another robbery at the NatWest bank on April 1. Once again he used a note demanding cash but the teller challenged him. Slattery left the scene empty-handed.
Shortly after, police were able to apprehend him walking near his home. Upon further investigation, police found "sticky labels" matching the note that had been handed to staff at NatWest bank, authorities said. They were also able to recover a jacket that matched the one Slattery was seen wearing when boarding the bus.
Slattery pleaded guilty to suspicion of robbery and two counts of attempted robbery.
"These incidents caused fear and distress to both the employees working in the banks, and to the wider public," said investigating officer, Detective Constable Jay Fair, in a statement. "I’d like to thank all the victims and witnesses who supported our investigation, and I’m pleased to see the severity of the offenses reflected in the sentence handed out by the court."
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