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A Bomb, You Say? Well Can We Interest You in a Toaster?

Nothing pleases me more on a Friday morning than being able to add to the official Legal Blog Watch Checklist for Bank Robbers.

Today's addition is inspired by the story of Mark Smith, a 59-year-old would-be bank robber from Watsonville, Cal., a super-cute little town that I know I've been to at some point in my life, but can't remember why. As reported by Gawker and the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Smith strolled into a bank last week, claiming to have a bomb in his backpack and demanded $2,000 to "pay his friend's rent." 

Somehow, the bank manager convinced Smith that, rather than rob the bank, he should simply apply for a loan. So, she went to "get the papers" for him to fill out, and had him sit down and make himself comfortable. Little did Smith know that, as he was dotting his "i"s, the cops were on the way.

From this vignette, I'd say there are two checklist-worthy takeaways:

  1. Loftier Goals -- If you're gonna go through the trouble of robbing a bank and expose yourself to federal charges, my God man, ask for more than $2,000.

  1. Don't Get Upsold -- Stick to your guns (pun intended). You went in there expecting to walk out with cash and not be burdened by the constant pressure of personal debt that so many Americans are suffering in these tough economic times. Instead, you were persuaded by some slick-talking banker to sign right there on the dotted line, likely without even understanding the terms of the deal. Elizabeth Warren would be mortified.

While we at LBW may believe that Smith could use a little help in developing his robbery techniques, he was judged even more harshly by Keith Olbermann, who gave Smith third place in his "World's Worst" segment the other night.

Posted by Eric Lipman on September 17, 2010 at 11:21 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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