MANHATTAN (CN) – A bank robber made a series of bad decisions even before he robbed an upstate bank with a BB gun, federal prosecutors say – including buying the gun with his own debit card at a Wal-Mart, and then dumping it in a parking lot after he fled with the loot.
Prosecutors say Dennis Wilson “took a vacation day” from work the day he robbed the Putnam County Savings Bank in September 2009.
Wilson, of Connecticut, made off with $26,000, but police found a clothing tag and the BB gun in a parking lot near the bank, according to the indictment.
Prosecutors say they traced the evidence to Wilson through the debit card he used to buy the items at a Wal-Mart two days before the robbery.
Video surveillance from Wal-Mart showed Wilson buying the stuff, and police matched his image to descriptions the robber, according to the indictment.
By January this year, Wilson had deposited more than $18,000 in cash into his bank account, which had a negative balance before the robbery, prosecutors say.
Police said Wilson also paid a $3,000 cash down payment for a Chevrolet Impala and bought an iPhone, Macbook and flat-screen TV – some of which were still in their packaging when he was arrested.
Prosecutors say that during police questioning, Wilson claimed that he had given the items he bought at the Wal-Mart to a relative – but the relative denied it.
Nor did Wilson’s alibi – that he was visiting someone at a battered women’s shelter on the morning of the robbery – hold up, according to the indictment.
The shelter’s records show that the person Wilson claimed to have visited did not check into the shelter until two days after the robbery.
The Putnam County Savings Bank is in Brewster.
Speaking not for attribution, a police chief of a medium-size town observed, “Most criminals aren’t evil people. They’re just fuck-ups.”