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A British bank robber with handwriting apparently so sloppy a bank teller was unable to read his stickup note has been handed a prison sentence this week, police said.
Alan Slattery, 67, was handed a six-year extended sentence following the botched heist in Eastbourne, a resort town on England’s southeast coast, as well as two other bank robbery attempts, officials announced on Aug. 11.
Slattery, who launched a spree of bank robberies within the span of a couple of weeks this spring, used handwritten notes to demand money from cashiers, according to a press release issued by East Sussex Police this week.
Around 10:45 a.m. on March 18, Slattery allegedly first struck the Nationwide Building Society on Terminus Road. However, police said he promptly fled the bank after the clerk, confounded by his inelegantly penned note, was unable to decipher his written demand.
“Your screen won’t stop what I’ve got, just hand over the 10s and 20s,” Slattery wrote in blue ink, according to police. “Think about the customers.”
Just over a week later, Slattery successfully made off with £2,400 in cash — about $3,300 — from the Nationwide Building Society bank branch in London Road in the seaside town of St. Leonards, according to British authorities. The teller in that incident, who told police she believed her life was in danger, turned over the demanded cash after Slattery gave her the menacing note, she said; he was apparently mostly mute during the stickup.
Security footage showed the suspected thief boarding a bus just after the holdup.
On April 1, Slattery attempted to rob another NatWest bank on Havelock Road in nearby Hastings, around 1:20 p.m., police said — again, handing a bank clerk a threatening note asking for cash. The teller refused to hand over any notes, however, forcing Slattery to flee empty-handed, according to police.
When investigators visited Slattery’s residence they found him walking nearby; he was arrested on suspicion of robbery, as well as two counts of attempted robbery.
According to officials, sticky notes were also seized by investigators that matched the same notes Slattery passed off to the cashiers during the series stickups. Authorities also recovered a jacket from Slattery’s property that matched the one worn by the culprit captured by surveillance video.
“These incidents caused fear and distress to both the employees working in the banks, and to the wider public,” said Detective Constable Jay Fair, of East Sussex Police. “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.”
Slattery pleaded guilty to all three robbery charges. He was sentenced on July 16 in Lewes Crown Court; he's expected to spend four years in prison followed by another two years on probation, according to officials.
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