FBI Arrests Bomb-Threatening, Wild-Note Writing Santa Ana Bank Bandit
Southern California FBI special agents say they have solved a March bank robbery in Santa Ana that, at least temporarily, netted the note-bearing bandit $21,000.
According to the FBI, Gerald Anthony Prudholme, Jr. entered Chase Bank at North Main Street and Washington Avenue, and handed a bank employee a poorly-written note containing the following message:
"This is not a joke! Do not panic or press alarm! I am sending this NIGGER in your bank who is attached to a timed bomb (look up) he also has a small camera that I can see everything. I also have a small camera in the lobby. I want $50K in 100s + 50s. NO DYE Pack or bait money or else I blow you ALL up! Of course the NIGGER too! Yay!"
The bandit was detail obsessed, continuing the note on the back side of the paper:
"DO NOT BE A HERO! Their will also be another person that will come in, to make sure you do as I say. Mind you, everything is remotely done. As long as you do what is written here, you will be safe. Last thing! The 2nd person will come during or maybe after. You will wait 10 min before alarm. P.S. I have police scanners and a device to read silent alarms. Don't fuck with me!"
When the bank employee finished scanning the note, Prudholme stood, unzipped his sweater and exposed black tape securing an iPhone to his chest, according to the FBI.
The bandit then asked for more paper and penned an additional message: "Was kidnapped, if we did not give him the money in 10 minutes we will be blown up."
Once he had the loot in a plastic bag, the bandit ran to a Chevrolet Cobalt and fled.
But, if the FBI agents are correct, Prudholme--who was born in 1970--made a terrible mistake: He left his fingerprints on one of notes and forensic lab work identified him.
This week, a federal grand jury issued an indictment against the defendant for armed bank robbery.
A judge inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse has not been selected to preside.
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