On his way to court Dec. 20 to be sentenced for kidnapping a pregnant bank teller from her home so she could open her Anaheim bank's vault, Charles Craig Clements fell down, injuring himself. That delayed the court hearing, but the 50-year-old's medical treatment ultimately informed the sentence Orange County Superior Court Judge Gregg L. Prickett handed down Tuesday. Because hospital X-rays show Clements had homemade handcuff keys inserted in his rectum, Prickett surmised the crook planned to escape and posed a danger. So, the judge imposed the maximum sentence: life in state prison.
That Clements' ass key won't make the Anaheim man eligible for a parole hearing for 30 years is a bizarre ending twist to a bizarre case.
His 30-year-old stepson, Bryan Bradley, spied on the bank teller's Anaheim home. Mom Tammy Rae Clements, 48, drove her husband to that residence on Jan.
27, 2009. A family that crimes together . . .
Charles Clements, who needed money because he had been out of work a long time, kidnapped the teller, who was eight months preggers at the time, and took her to her Bank of the West branch. There, a second bank employee was called outside on a ruse and held hostage while another worker was sent in to open the vault. Clements got away with $167,900 in cash, $42,000 of which has been recovered.
But Clements had mistakenly left his sunglasses–and DNA–at the pregnant teller's home. Anaheim Police later received a tip and
started watching Clements, who dropped a cigarette butt that cops recovered and got a DNA match on the genetic
material from his sunglasses.
Clements was convicted Nov. 30 of two counts of aggravated kidnapping and three counts of robbery. His wife pleaded guilty in March 2011 to second-degree robbery and kidnapping as part of a plea deal that included testifying against her husband. Bradley struck a similar deal in pleading guilty Dec. 16 to one count each of kidnapping and robbery. Each were sentenced to three-year prison terms but were released due to time already served in jail.
A probation report indicates the bank teller still suffers from panic attacks, but she delivered a healthy baby.