Theft Of The Week (9)

Alan Slattery’s bright idea was to rob a bank or two by passing over a note containing his demands to a cashier. Sadly, he encountered an unexpected snag when he visited a branch of the Nationwide Building Society in Terminus Road in Eastbourne.

The note was duly passed over, but the cashier was unable to read it because of Slattery’s poor handwriting. The would-be thief had left empty-handed before the staff had worked out that the note had said, “your screen won’t stop what I’ve got, just hand over the 10s and 20s. Think about the customers”.

Slattery then tried his luck again five days later at a different Nationwide branch, in St Leonards, and got away with £2,400. A third attempt, appropriately on April Fools’ Day, saw him enter a bank in Hastings and hand over his threatening note. The cashier, made of sterner stuff, challenged him. Slattery may have left empty-handed, but he left a good image of himself on the bank’s CCTV system.

Slattery was arrested and given a six-year extended sentence. The moral of the story is whatever profession you chose, it pays to practise your handwriting at school.

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