The words on his robbery note were spelled incorrectly, authorities said, and he was unable to articulate his demands. So the confused teller at the downtown Washington bank turned the man away, saying she couldn’t help.
The FBI says the man didn’t fare much better at a second bank three blocks away. There, authorities said, it took the teller a few moments to realize that the man standing at her window April 1 was not a customer.
Authorities say that most bank robbers use notes, not guns, but the wording must be clear to be understood. Court documents say the note handed over at the SunTrust simply read, “100s 50s 20s 10s.”
“The teller was confused,” the FBI agent wrote in the affidavit, noting that the teller understood the man to say “money” but nothing else. She handed the note back, and the FBI says he wrote, “all mona.” The teller sent him away. It was only after he left, authorities said, that a customer who was in earshot told her that the man was trying to rob the bank.
The teller at the Bank of America seemed to understand what was happening a bit quicker, although the FBI said she, too, was at first confused by the note reading “all mona.”