NZ's dumbest bank robber confesses all

Anthony Prince poses with the money before he and his mate were arrested trying to fly to Mexico. Photo / Supplied
Anthony Prince poses with the money before he and his mate were arrested trying to fly to Mexico. Photo / Supplied

A New Zealander who took part in one of the most idiotic bank robberies in United States history is out of prison - and has spoken of his stupidity and his time in jail.

Anthony Prince, 25, spent four years locked up for the US$132,000 robbery in Vail, Colorado, in which he held two female staff at gunpoint in March 2005.

Prince and Australian mate Luke Carroll were in Vail on a working holiday and were dubbed Dumb and Dumber because of the clues they left.

They wore balaclavas to hide their faces - but they were regular customers at the WestStar Bank and also wore name tags from the sports store where they worked.

Their accents also made them identifiable. Later, they tried to buy air tickets to Mexico with stolen cash.

In his new book, Bank Robbery for Beginners, Prince tells how the raid unfolded.

"The two tellers were behind the counter ... I opened my mouth and out fell the words, 'This is a robbery!'

"I held up my pistol. I remember the two girls turning and looking at me, like they knew me. The older girl, Kim, stared at me with a peculiar smile on her face, like she understood this was a joke.

"Suddenly, Luke came storming in ... doing the whole madman-robbing-a-bank thing - 'Shut the f*** up and give us all the money!' - and then the girls' faces changed.

"He was shouting in an accent so undisguised he sounded like a Tourism Australia advertisement."

Prince pretended to be American, and tried to muster a local accent as he said: "We don't want to hurt you, lady. We just want the money. If you stay calm and give us the money, we won't hurt you and we'll go."

One of the tellers was injured as she was pushed by Carroll while he held the gun at the other's head.

"She was sobbing and Luke was behind her with the barrel of his gun against the back of her neck."

As they ran from the bank after stealing cash from the safe, Prince knew they were in trouble.

"I wasn't just a naughty boy any more. I was a crook, a bad dude. I was going down."

Their stupidity didn't end there. Both posed for photographs with wads of the stolen money, then tried to use it to buy tickets out of the US.

It didn't take long for them to be arrested.

The raid was caught on CCTV. Prince said it was "rare to have the worst moment of your life caught on film, and the fear, regret and hopelessness is all over my face".

Back living in Australia, the idiot robber told news.com.au his tag was hard to shake.

"It's the first thing people talk about - Dumb and Dumber. But I've come to terms with it ... Obviously it's a stupid thing that I did and I deserve it."

How they were undone

* They held up their local bank.

* They wore their name tags.

* Prince's accomplice spoke with an Aussie accent.

* They photographed themselves with the loot.

* They tried to use the money to buy getaway air tickets.

- staff reporter

- NZ Herald

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