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Gazette Premium Content Police: Bank robber apparently homesick for prison

LANCE BENZEL Updated: October 30, 2009 at 12:00 am

Colorado Springs police may have encountered a new kind of criminal after a robbery at a downtown bank this morning: the kind who wants to get caught.

Officer Stephen Fontenot said that when he pulled up within a few minutes of a heist at the Wells Fargo branch at 90 S. Cascade Ave., the robber was standing stock still outside the main entrance, his hands clasped behind his head.

The man carefully followed Fontenot’s instructions to get on the ground, and even offered the cop a helping hand.

“He said the money’s in the bag, there,” Fontenot said. “Then he said, ‘I did it.  I robbed the bank.’

“I didn’t even see the bag at first because I was watching for any furtive hand movements.”

Eight employees and three customers were inside the bank during the 10 a.m. robbery. No one was hurt, and the robber never displayed or threatened to use a weapon, police spokesman Lt. David Whitlock said.  He declined to identify the 47-year-old man pending further investigation.

Fontenot said the suspect was a “Department of Corrections client” – likely a parolee – who was also carrying paperwork that showed he was entitled to some big-ticket health benefits for a bad back.  Fontenot said he agreed with other officers on the scene that the suspect must not have been doing well on the outside.

“He wanted to go back to prison.  That’s what we figured,” Fontenot said.


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