Man's Bank Robbery Foiled as Staff Couldn't Read His Handwritten Note

A man whose attempt to rob a bank failed because staff couldn't read his handwritten note demanding they hand over cash has been jailed.

Alan Slattery, 67, of Saint Leonards in southeast England, was handed a six-year extended sentence on July 16 after pleading guilty to robbery and two counts of attempted robbery.

According to Sussex Police, Slattery entered three banks in the space of two weeks and used handwritten notes to tell the cashiers to hand over money.

On March 18, Slattery went into a Nationwide Building Society branch in Eastbourne intending to rob it.

However, the cashier he gave his note to was unable to read his instructions because of Slattery's poor handwriting. The 67-year-old then left the bank empty handed.

The note from Slattery was later deciphered by staff, who found it said: "Your screen won't stop what I've got, just hand over the 10s and the 20s. Think about the other customers."

Police were then called, with officers seizing the note and reviewing the bank's surveillance footage.

On March 26, Slattery went to the Nationwide Building Society in Saint Leonards and again handed the cashier a threatening note. Police said the cashier gave Slattery £2,400 ($3,327) over fears about her safety, and the 67-year-old left with the money.

Slattery then boarded a bus after robbing the bank. Police spoke with the bus company, and were able to identify Slattery from the picture on his bus pass, which matched the person seen in the bank's surveillance video.

On April 1, police received a call from workers at a NatWest bank in Hastings saying that a man had handed over a note demanding money. The cashier confronted the man, who left empty-handed.

Arrested Near His Home

Officers then attended the last known address of Slattery and found him walking in the area. He was arrested on suspicion of robbery and two counts of attempted robbery.

During a search of his home, police found some sticky labels identical to the label handed to staff at the NatWest bank, as well as a jacket that matched that worn by the man who attempted to rob the NatWest.

Following his guilty plea, Slattery was given a six-year extended sentence at Lewes Crown Court, consisting of four years in jail and two years on license.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Jay Fair, said in a statement: "These incidents caused fear and distress to both the employees working in the banks, and to the wider public.

"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."

bank robbery handwriting
Due to Alan Slattery's poor handwriting, the employee at the bank he attempted to rob was unable to read the note and he left empty-handed. Sussex Police