Saturday 10 December 2016

Bank thief dropped son into creche just before raid

Published 09/12/2011 | 05:00

A DUBLIN man who dropped his child off at a creche before robbing a US bank and then picked up the youngster afterwards has pleaded guilty to the heist.

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Alan Nolan (39), an undocumented immigrant, also admitted to carrying out a previous bank robbery in the state of New Jersey in 2007.

Between the two robberies, he made off with over $57,000 (€43,000) and is now facing up to 12 years in prison.

In February 2007, Nolan carried out his first bank heist in New Jersey.

He handed over a piece of paper to the bank clerk which read: "Give me the money or I'll shoot. I have gun." He made off with over $11,000 (€8,000).

On the day of his second bank heist, Nolan had adopted an alias, 'Alan Heffernan', when he dropped his young child off at a daycare nursery.

He then entered a Chase bank branch and told the cashier he was carrying a bomb that was timed to explode in 20 seconds.

Nolan demanded that she hand over the money, before making off with over $46,000 (€34,000).

Later that evening, he returned to the creche to pick up his child.

Police subsequently seized his home computer and found Yahoo searches for 'bank opening procedures', and 'Chase Bank opening hours' and saw he had visited a website called bank-locations.com

Nolan threatened bank employees during both incidents, police told the court.

Under a plea agreement, Nolan could spend 12 years behind bars, which would require him to serve 85pc of the term before becoming eligible for parole, court officials said.

Deported

The prosecutor's original plea offer was 22 years.

A police sniffer dog was used to trace the robber's scent to a parking lot where police found a key ring and a key card which was used to track down Nolan.

Nolan's lawyer, Peter Gilbreth, said his client understood that he would be deported upon his release from prison as he was living in the US illegally.

The court also heard that Nolan was the suspect in another robbery that took place in 2004.

However, due to the statute of limitations of five years on the crime, he cannot be charged.

Irish Independent

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