First, Randolph Joseph Claude Lacombe "picked up a pamphlet which said, 'Are you getting the right financial advice?' and started writing a hold-up note on the back page," prosecutor Gordon Baines told the provincial court Thursday.
After getting as far as, 'Dist is a holldop,' the pen ran dry.
Lacombe scrawled a second, equally illiterate note: "Thes is a holde up, no terx, just geve me the money, no trix, thank you, and no one will gel hert."
Not surprising that he was caught, but astounding that he got some money and made it out of the bank.
Baines said Lacombe told [the teller] he had a gun or other weapon and would not hesitate to use it.
Judging by the rest of Lacombe's actions, I have a feeling that that's exactly what he told her: "I have a gun or other weapon." That's not frightening. "I have a weapon" is frightening: he's being secretive, to preserve the element of surprise. "I have a gun" is frightening: he's got a bloody gun! But "I have a gun or maybe some other weapon" is indicative of a man who can't even remember what he brought with him to rob a bank. That's not frightening; it's laughable.
(Before you ask, yes, of course I'd have handed over the money. Coming face to face with total stupidity can be pretty scary. But, after I'd given him the money and he'd left the building, I'd have laughed at him, bravely.)
After leaving with $460 in $20 bills ...
$460? I was right, then: the teller wasn't scared at all. "Here's a prize moron," she probably thought, "who will accept some piffling amount to go away." And she was right. I've worked for companies whose managers spend more than that on lunch.
After leaving with $460 in $20 bills, Lacombe headed for a nearby hotel, where he retrieved a bag he had left with the bartender.
"He told her he had just robbed a bank, and he asked her to call a cab," Baines said.
He probably told her to make sure she understood how urgent the cab was. That's smart thinking.
While Lacombe went outside to wait for his cab, the bartender telephoned police, who were already swarming the neighborhood.
Ah, such a small mistake, but such a vital one. Remember, kids: if you're going to be a successful bank robber, don't confess to complete strangers and then leave them to make phone calls while you stand around aimlessly.
"He was apprehended in an alcove behind the Beaufort Hotel drinking a bottle of whiskey," Baines said.
So, not a total idiot after all. No, Randolph Lacombe had a plan. Knowing that, after a stressful bank robbery, he'd be wanting a stiff drink, he had made sure in advance that he'd have quick and easy access to whiskey. Reading between the lines, I think it's pretty clear that that's what was in the bag he'd left with the bartender. And the whole plan went off without a hitch: straight out of the bank to the bar, pick up the bag, start drinking. And he'd even worked out that he had to use a taxi a getaway car was out of the question, because he couldn't drink and drive, could he? Yes, Randolph Lacombe had worked out all the angles. The police were damn lucky to catch up with him.