Bank robbery foiled when teller can’t read stickup note

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A British man allegedly botched a bank robbery because of a handwritten stickup note that was so sloppy the teller couldn’t read it.

That would-be robbery was part of a short-lived spree in East Sussex by 67-year-old Alan Slattery that included a second failed stickup and one successful theft of $3,300, Sussex Police said in a news release Wednesday.

Slattery was sentenced to four years behind bars and two years under supervision in Lewes Crown Court on July 16, police said.

Alan Slattery, and the alleged note. (Sussex Police)

The retiree tried to rob the Nationwide Building Society on the morning of March 18 by slipping a note to the teller – but he hightailed it out of there with no cash when the teller couldn’t make out the writing, the release said.

Only after he was gone did staff make out that the note said “your screen won’t stop what I’ve got just hand over the 10s and 20s think about the customer’s (sic).”

The goofy crime was reminiscent of a scene from the 1969 comedy film “Take the Money and Run,” which shows a bank robbery that goes wrong when the would-be robber argues with tellers, a vice president and others about whether his stickup note says “gun” or “gub.”

But Slattery kept at it after his first stickup went south, and on March 26 he slipped a note to a teller at Nationwide Building Society who was able to read it – and turned over about $3,300 cash, police stated.

Surveillance footage showed Slattery boarding a bus afterward, and he was identified through the bus company by the photo on his pass, according to police.

Slattery struck out one last time before police charged him, though – this time at a NatWest bank on April 1, the release said. He once again used a note, but this time the teller pushed back and scared off Slattery who left the bank without taking anything, according to police.

Police arrested Slattery walking near his home later for robbery and attempted robbery, police stated. In his house, they found “sticky labels” that matched one of his stickup notes, the statement said.

“These incidents caused fear and distress to both the employees working in the banks and to the wider public,” Detective Constable Jay Fair said 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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